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The Women’s Refugee Commission Joins Thousands in Protest to Hold the Trump Administration Accountable for Reunifying Families

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) joined more than 140 national organizations and thousands of human rights advocates in front of the White House speaking out against family detention and demanding that the Trump administration reunify families separated at the border.

WRC is co-hosted and participated in rallies in New York and Washington, D.C. The New York rally began in Foley Square and was co-hosted by organizations including the New York Immigration Coalition, New York Civil Liberties Union, and YMCA of Greater New York.

Since May 2018, more than 2,300 children have been separated from their parents, the vast majority of whom have come to the U.S. seeking asylum after fleeing violence and civil unrest in their countries. Last week, the president signed an executive order (EO) that does not address the problem but instead buckles down on a zero-tolerance policy, focuses on eliminating child protection standards, and means families could still be separated. And, despite Federal Court ruling earlier this week mandating that separated children be reunified with their parents, the administration still has no process in place to make that happen.

Michelle Brané, director of the Migrant Rights and Justice program at WRC, made the following statement:

“We demand that the Trump administration reunite families now; end family detention, and put an end to the zero-tolerance policy. These policies are not only inhumane but also ineffective and costly. We challenge the administration to examine the programs that have worked in the past that are cost-effective and less traumatic; programs like the Family Case Management Program should be reintroduced. Today’s actions by thousands of Americans from all around the country are a clear indication that American people are saying no to inhuman treatment and that asylum seekers are welcome.”

Organizations such as the ACLU, Human Rights First, MoveOn, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and the Feminist Majority Foundation were also present at the rally in Washington, D.C. today. There were more 650 protests that took place nationwide today to advocate for an end to family separation.