UPDATE: The Trump administration has made an announcement in response to global outrage. The Executive Order imprisons families indefinitely. The United States cannot continue to treat vulnerable families fleeing horrific violence and persecution like criminals.
Separating children from parents is nothing short of torture.
The U.S. government has been forcibly separating families seeking safety in the U.S. These families are fleeing persecution and horrific violence, often from Central America.
Instead of being able to ask for asylum with dignity and security, they are treated cruelly. Children are taken from their parents at the border and put into government-run shelters, often hundreds of miles away from their parents, even when the parents have documentation proving their relationship to their children.
The USA is flagrantly violating human rights.
Amnesty International staff recently conducted a research mission along the U.S. southern border. The preliminarily findings suggest that since 2017 the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") is increasingly separating children by force from their parents or guardians when these families request asylum.
Separating families as they seek asylum together is a flagrant violation of the human rights of the parents and their children and is also a violation of U.S. obligations under refugee law. Amnesty International considers intentionally inflicting severe mental suffering on families for coercive purposes a form of torture.
To: Kelly Craft, United States Ambassador to Canada,
I am outraged that the U.S. government would deliberately act to separate children from their parents or legal guardians. This practice damages families, traumatizes children and adults, and undermines their right to seek asylum from persecution and other ill-treatment. Separating children from their parents as they seek asylum is a flagrant violation of the human rights of the parents and their children and is also a violation of U.S. obligations under refugee law.
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