Representative Sheila Jackson Lee

Representing the 18th District of TEXAS

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Condemns the Dastardly and Inhumane Practice by the Trump Administration and the Department of Homeland Security of Separating Sponsors of Children Separated from their Parents

Oct 3, 2018
Press Release

PRESS STATEMENT HEADER

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                              Contact: Robin Chand

September 21, 2018                                                                                            202-228-3816

Press Statement

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee Condemns the Dastardly and Inhumane Practice by the Trump Administration and the Department of Homeland Security of Separating Sponsors of Children Separated from their Parents

 

Jackson Lee–“The Trump Administration, DHS and HHS claimed that the separation of these children and their custody in vast, anonymous tent communities under the hot Texas sun, was in the best interest of the children, while sponsors were located.  Experience has hollowed that assurance.  News that these sponsors are now the target of enforcement efforts is dastardly, inhumane and has no place in our nation.”

 

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary and Homeland Security, Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations, and Member of the House Budget Committee, issued this statement following news reports that individuals selected to care for children separated from their parents are, too, being targeted for removal from Immigration and Customs Enforcement:

 

“It is outrageous that Immigration and Customs Enforcement, after implementing this president’s cruel and inhumane child separation policy, is now turning to arresting sponsors of children as another way of effectuating the administration's misguided immigration policy.  This is troubling in and of itself, but all the more so when considering the background of these requests.  The individuals now in the crosshairs of Trump’s deportation force—adult sponsors trying to accept responsibility for these children when the parents of these children have been separated from their children, and are thus unable to do so—volunteered to take custody for these children so that they may be cared for, after these children were separated from their parents.  It is appalling that the current administration would perform an ostensible bait-and-switch, and now target these individuals, the overwhelming majority of whom were charged with simple immigration violations, rather than other, more serious criminal activity.  Sacrificed in this push and pull, of course, are innocent children.

“This malfeasance is not simply confined to the Department of Homeland Security.  The effort to maintain these children in custodial conditions, coupled with a delay in reuniting already detained children with rightful custodians—and concomitant arrests—has led to the custodial detention of approximately 13,000 children, as of yesterday.  This is the highest ever number of children ever held captive in the United States, and the numbers continue to rise.  Moreover, the federal government is utilizing the enforcement arm of the DHS to further prolong their misery by keeping them in custodial detention because they are threatening and arresting sponsors who are willingly coming forward to take these children, as their families want.  It is a merciless, inhumane and devastating policy. 

“The Trump Administration, DHS and HHS claimed that the separation of these children and their custody in vast, anonymous tent communities under the hot Texas sun was/is in the best interest of the children, while sponsors were located.  Experience has hollowed that assurance.  News that these sponsors are now the target of enforcement efforts is dastardly, inhumane and has no place in our nation.  Americans must and should be appalled.”

 

###

 

Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat representing the 18th Congressional District of Texas, is a senior member of the House Committees on Judiciary, Homeland Security and the Budget. She is a Ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.