Reps. Payne, Thompson, Vela: Reject Cruel and Misguided Plan to Separate Mothers & Children

Mar 8, 2017 Issues: National Security

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Filemon Vela (D-TX), sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly regarding his confirmation that DHS is considering separating children from their parents at the border.

Trying to ‘discourage’ people fleeing violence and extreme poverty from seeking safety in the U.S. by threatening to take their children away from them is unconscionable. As former commander of U.S. Southern Command, you have acknowledged the “unimaginable violence” so many of these families are fleeing in Central America.

DHS forcing children into shelters or foster care when their mothers or fathers are with them would be inhumane and runs contrary to American values.

Again, we strongly urge you to reject this cruel and misguided policy. To do otherwise would be a black mark in the history of not just DHS, but of America.

Link to letter

Congressman Payne, Jr. is the Ranking Member of the Committee’s Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communication Subcommittee and is a champion of children’s rights.

Congressman Vela is the Ranking Member of the Committee’s Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee and represents part of the southwest border region.