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'What Do You Call a Country That Institutionalizes Child Abuse?': Democrats Hold Sit-In Demanding End to Trump Family Separation Policy

"Every hour that goes by is another hour of trauma for these moms, dads, little boys, girls, and babies."

Jake Johnson

"What do you call a country that institutionalizes child abuse? Tragically, today, we call it the United States of America," said Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) from the steps of the CBP building in the nation's capital. (Photo: Rep. Pramila Jayapal/Twitter)

As the heart-wrenching story of a Honduran mother having her baby daughter ripped from her arms by federal authorities as she was breastfeeding provided yet another example of the immense cruelty of President Donald Trump's family separation policy, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) on Wednesday led a sit-in outside the offices of Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) demanding that asylum-seekers be released from government detention and reunited with their loved ones immediately.

"Every hour that goes by is another hour of trauma for these moms, dads, little boys, girls, and babies," Jayapal—who was joined in the act of civil disobedience by a group of House Democrats and immigrant rights activists—wrote on Twitter.

"What do you call a country that institutionalizes child abuse?" added Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) from the steps of the CBP building in the nation's capital. "Tragically, today, we call it the United States of America. As a mother, as a grandmother, as the proud daughter of two immigrant parents, we will not stand for that... We will fight until we win."

The House Democrats' sit-in comes just days after Jayapal visited a federal detention facility in Washington, where mostly women asylum-seekers told her one horrifying story after another about awful living conditions at Border Patrol facilities, abuse they've experienced at the hands of immigration authorities, and the pain of being separated from their young children.

In a speech on Wednesday, Jayapal—who last week called for Trump's family separation practices to be completely defunded—vowed to continue fighting for migrants who are being detained unjustly and denied a fair hearing.

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Abortion Rights Defenders Applaud Judge's Block on Utah 'Trigger Ban'

"Today is a win, but it is only the first step in what will undoubtedly be a long and difficult fight," said one pro-choice advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·

Scores Feared Dead and Wounded as Russian Missiles Hit Ukraine Shopping Center

"People just burned alive," said Ukraine's interior minister, while the head of the Poltava region stated that "it is too early to talk about the final number of the killed."

Brett Wilkins ·

Biodiversity Risks Could Persist for Decades After Global Temperature Peak

One study co-author said the findings "should act as a wake-up call that delaying emissions cuts will mean a temperature overshoot that comes at an astronomical cost to nature and humans that unproven negative emission technologies cannot simply reverse."

Jessica Corbett ·

Amnesty Report Demands Biden Take Action to End Death Penalty

"The world is waiting for the USA to do what almost 100 countries have achieved during this past half-century—total abolition of the death penalty," said the group.

Julia Conley ·

Pointing to 'Recently Obtained Evidence,' Jan. 6 Panel Calls Surprise Tuesday Hearing

The announcement came less than a week after the House panel delayed new hearings until next month, citing a "deluge" of fresh evidence.

Common Dreams staff ·

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