In the weeks since U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the new “zero-tolerance” immigration border policy on May 7, 2018, nearly 650 families have been prosecuted between May 6th and May 19th alone, with the number expected to rise. The new policy seeks to deliberately separate migrant families seeking asylum at the border, frightening children and potentially inflicting additional long-term trauma on them and their families.
As human service providers, the Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies finds this new Department of Justice/Department of Homeland Security policy to be in direct conflict with our Jewish values and our agency missions. Victims of persecution and violence deserve no less than a humane system that respects the basic tenets of the rule of law.
The Network firmly urges the administration and Congress to ensure the safety and well-being of migrant children and families by: halting the use of family separation as a deterrent; ensuring humane treatment at the border; helping children separated from their parents due to immigration enforcement; and providing legal representation to ensure unaccompanied children have a full and fair opportunity to make their cases and access legal protection.
Perry Ohren, Chair, NJHSA Board of Directors