Fighting back against the Trump administration's "vile" new policy of separating young migrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, the ACLU is launching "Families Belong Together" rallies at immigration enforcement offices nationwide on Friday in an urgent effort to "end this practice for good."
"We don't want to live in a country that brutally separates young children from their parents. If the Trump administration's cruelty doesn't speak for you, show the world this Friday."
"The Trump administration is sending the clear message that immigrants aren't welcome here—and they don't mind sacrificing constitutional rights and basic human decency just to get that across," the ACLU wrote, urging supporters to sign a petition opposing the administration's policy. "They want to scare people away from coming to this country to seek a better life and aren't afraid to admit it. We have the power to change this cruel policy—if enough of us raise our voices."
In addition to publishing an action plan (pdf) that includes details on how to spread information about Friday's rallies on social media, the ACLU also provided an updated map of events taking place across the country.
We don't want to live in a country that brutally separates young children from their parents. If the Trump administration's cruelty doesn't speak for you, show the world this Friday. #KeepFamiliesTogether https://t.co/zUpjLHjPpZ
— ACLU (@ACLU) May 30, 2018
FRIDAY: Join the National Day of Action to oppose Trump's policy of tearing immigrant families apart.
— People Power (@peoplepower) May 29, 2018
According to the Trump administration's own figures, over 700 children were reportedly separated from their parents between October 2017 and April 2018—before the Department of Homeland Security's new policy officially took effect earlier this month.
"Make no mistake: This new policy is vicious, brutal and is nothing less than Trump administration-endorsed, U.S. government-sanctioned child abuse."
—Maria Cardona, political commentator
"The federal government has not released figures from May, but those who work on immigration cases have observed a large increase in the number of children affected" by the new policy, as NBC News reported last week.
"It doesn't matter how young the child, how terrible their situation, or how unnecessary their separation," the ACLU noted. "They have one goal in mind: to warn immigrants not to come here, or else they might lose their children."
As Common Dreams reported, ACLU documents published last week detailed the appalling treatment of detained migrant children during the Obama administration and clearly demonstrated that "pervasive abuse" of immigrants didn't begin with President Donald Trump.
But Trump appears deadset on doing everything he can to make an already cruel system even more inhumane, and advocacy groups are hoping Friday's rallies will help call attention to these often overlooked policies and build a grassroots movement strong enough to bring them down for good.
On Friday, we are rallying across the country to demand that @DHSgov end its cruel practice of separating children from their parents.
— People Power (@peoplepower) May 30, 2018
"Make no mistake: This new policy is vicious, brutal and is nothing less than Trump administration-endorsed, U.S. government-sanctioned child abuse," concluded political strategist and commentator Maria Cardona in an op-ed for The Hill on Tuesday.