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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 8, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 23
Don't separate families at the border, Pramila Jayapal tells congressional committee
Section One
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Don't separate families at the border, Pramila Jayapal tells congressional committee

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Seattle-area Rep. Pramila Jayapal is one of three House members authoring a letter to the Subcommittee on Homeland Security to restrict the Department of Homeland Security's ability to separate families at the border.

The other authors are Reps. Bennie G. Thompson of Mississippi and Zoe Lofgren of California.

Joining them are 108 other representatives, including all the Democrats in the Washington State delegation - Suzan DelBene, Denny Heck, Derek Kilmer, Rick Larsen, and Adam Smith.

As part of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, the Subcommittee on Homeland Security could defund DHS family separation efforts.

The letter comes in response to the Trump administration's policy of separating children from their parents at the US-Mexico border, an act Jayapal characterizes as 'cruel and inhumane.'

'Many parents arrive at our borders with their children to seek protection - a lawful act. In the last several years, the numbers of such families apprehended at our southern border has increased. Overwhelming evidence shows this is driven by rising levels of violence and persecution in their home countries,' wrote the members.

'We believe that in a misguided attempt to reduce these numbers, DHS has been separating families with the hope that cruel treatment at our borders will send a message to and deter future migrants.'

'The solution to the cruel inhumanity of family separation cannot be the alternative - and costly - cruelty of family detention. Instead, DHS must act with humanity and fiscal responsibility by prioritizing a spectrum of alternatives to detention, beginning by restoring the Family Case Management Program (FCMP),' the members continued.

'We respectfully request that the DHS FY 2019 Appropriations bill make it clear that no funds may be used to support the ongoing and increasing use of family separation as a means of deterring future migration. We also strongly urge you to include funding for the FCMP as a cost-efficient and effective alternative to detention.'

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