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  • Women’s Refugee Commission Statement in Advance of Tonight’s State of the Union

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    Washington, DC – With a temporary break in the nation’s longest-ever federal government shutdown, President Donald J. Trump tonight will deliver his second State of the Union Address, during which he is expected to continue his demand for a wall at the border. A major campaign promise during his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump’s wall is part of a broader immigration policy that has seen families separated, unaccompanied minors denied entry to the U.S., and asylum-seeking and migrant children lost within the U.S. immigration system.

    In advance of tonight’s address, Michelle Brané, director of the Migrant Rights and Justice program at the Women’s Refugee Commission, issued the following statement:

    “Tonight, the nation will be subjected to yet another round of lies and scare tactics from the president. Since coming to office, President Trump – and his administration – has carried out a pre-planned and coordinated campaign of chaos designed to terrorize families seeking safety at the U.S. border.

    “This administration has, from the onset, methodically sought to deter asylum-seeking and migrant women and children from reaching the U.S. This is a crisis created by Trump that embraces deception at every level of his administration and uses tactics that are both illegal and deadly.

    “Each week reveals yet another White House lie, another new scare tactic. Just two weeks ago, for example, leaked documents confirmed that the Trump administration deliberately crafted a plan to separate families – then lied about it to Congress – and failed to keep track of how many children were taken from their parents as part of his ‘zero tolerance’ policy.

    “Tonight will be no different. We expect him to mislead the nation and exploit the very serious issue of human trafficking for political gain. The fact is that President Trump – by denying asylum access to unaccompanied minors at the U.S. border – is the one putting children at risk of being trafficked and/or exploited.

    “And, let’s be clear – the real emergency here is President Trump’s deliberate attack on women, children, and families. From separating families to violating U.S. and international law by refusing access to those arriving at ports of entry and shutting the border at Tijuana and along the southern United States to his obsession with ending protections for unaccompanied minors such as the ongoing attempts to dismantle the Flores Settlement Agreement and the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), President Trump is hell-bent on using the executive office to destroy families and put the lives of children at risk.”