Washington, D.C. — Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Justice reached a settlement in the Ms. L., et al. v. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement litigation involving families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border during the Trump administration. Debu Gandhi, senior director of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:
The sheer cruelty of separating small children from their parents cannot be overstated. The trauma inflicted on these children in our names will last a lifetime. The Trump administration’s family separation policy had nothing to do with border security and much to do with operationalizing abuse.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the U.S. Justice Department should be commended for reaching this settlement deal that seeks to provide some justice for victims of the policy and limit future family separations. As the nation continues to reckon with the consequences of its badly broken immigration system that Congress has failed to fix, Americans have to be clear about what we stand for. The ability of victims of persecution—as so many of those children and families were and so many of the immigrants currently at the borders are—to seek asylum protections is fundamental to American laws and values.
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