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Amnesty International USA is endorsing the Keep Families Together Act as introduced today in the House of Representatives by Representative Jerrold Nadler, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. If passed into law, this bill would end the damaging practice of family separation, establish a policy preference for keeping families together, restrict the prosecution of parents seeking asylum, and require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop policies and procedures allowing parents and children to reunite.

Ryan Mace, grassroots advocacy and refugee specialist at Amnesty International USA, issued this statement:

“Congress needs to send a clear signal to the Trump administration. Tearing families apart and holding children in cages is a brazen violation of human rights. Already, more than 2,000 children and babies have been ripped from their parents’ arms under this cruel and unnecessary policy aiming to punish people from seeking asylum.

“This malicious policy amounts to torture and if left unchecked, it will leave a permanent stain on the U.S. human rights record. Taking children away from their parents inflicts deep trauma and mental suffering on vulnerable families who have already undergone so much on their journey to seek safety.

“We urge every member of Congress to support this bill. This is not how the U.S. should treat those seeking safety and asylum at our borders.”

Amnesty also supports the Senate’s Keep Families Together Act (S. 3036) led by Senator Feinstein, which similarly calls for families to be kept together.