In just six weeks, officials at the border have separated nearly 2,000 children from their parents.
At least three state governors are rescinding their promise to deploy National Guard troops and other resources to the US–Mexico border to protest President Trump’s policy of separating undocumented immigrant children from their parents and family members.
On Monday, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said they would refuse to send any troops, state assets, or personnel to the Southwest border as the chorus of criticism over the administration’s treatment of undocumented families continued to intensify.
“Governor Baker directed the National Guard not to send any assets or personnel to the Southwest border today because the federal government’s current actions are resulting in the inhumane treatment of children,” Lizzy Guyton, the Massachusettes Republican governor’s communications director said in a statement to BuzzFeed News.
Calling the ongoing separation of families at the border “unconscionable,” Gov. Cuomo said his state “will not be party to this inhumane treatment of immigrant families.”
In Colorado, Gov. Hickenlooper took executive action to ensure that no state resources would be used to aid the Trump administration’s efforts.
“To see the images and hear from religious leaders, psychological professionals and academics — political individuals from all backgrounds — unanimously to condemn this kind of activity is rare,” the Democrat said at a news conference. “That you see that broad a consensus with that same passion and sense of urgency [is rare].”
Asked whether California Gov. Jerry Brown would pull members of the guard from the border, a spokesperson said the governor previously stated that deployed personnel would not assist in any efforts to “round up women and children or detain people escaping violence and seeking a better life. And the California National Guard will not be enforcing federal immigration laws.”
The governors’ decision to pull back troops comes after their states agreed to help the federal government bolster border security. In April, Trump requested at least 4,000 National Guard troops to assist authorities in stemming the flow of migrants traveling through Mexico into the US.
However, the administration’s new, stringent “zero-tolerance” rule automatically charges all immigrants caught crossing the border with illegal entry, resulting in the automatic separation of families because children cannot stay with their parents in detainment centers. In past years, offenders would be deported or go to immigration court for a hearing.
As a result, officials separated nearly 2,000 children from their parents in the first six weeks of the policy, which ended May 31, placing them in tents, warehouses, and other facilities. A growing swath of politicians, religious groups, and rights organizations have strongly denounced the administration’s actions, calling them “cruel,” “immoral,” and “harmful.”
I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart.https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/laura-bush-separating-children-from-their-parents-at-the-border-breaks-my-heart/2018/06/17/f2df517a-7287-11e8-9780-b1dd6a09b549_story.html?utm_term=.c8b35f34ca34 …