Right now, the U.S. government is 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 they had documentation proving their relationship to their children.
Amnesty International staff recently conducted a research mission along the U.S. southern border, and preliminarily found that since 2017 the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) is increasingly forcibly separating children 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.
Take action to stop separating families now!
Dear Acting United States Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan,
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.
Entire families have been devastated by these unnecessary and cruel actions. Families deserve to be together as they seek asylum in the U.S. — parents are seeking safety for their families, just as any of us would do.
I call on the Administration to urgently end family separation.