AFSCME co-signed a complaint to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in response to President Donald Trump’s inhumane policy of separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“This inhumane policy is a cruel choice that does not make us safer, and it does not make us great,” said AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders. “There is no law that mandates traumatizing children, only the prerogative of this president.”
He added that our union joins “the bipartisan calls for basic human decency” and called on Trump to “end this policy today.”
The complaint, co-signed by AFSCME along with our partners in the labor movement, religious leaders and community organizations, calls out violations to the United Nations Convention Against Torture, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and other international agreements. It also warns of “grave and potentially irreparable harm to children and parents.”
“Parents and children torn apart in many cases do not know where to find each other or when they will be reunited,” the complaint reads.
The government doesn’t “provide parents with information about their children’s whereabouts following separation,” the complaint notes. “Children in custody, meanwhile, do not receive any information about the location of their parent following separation. Often no communication happens between parents and children in U.S. custody following their separation – further exacerbating stress and trauma.”
The crisis at the border is the result of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” enforcement of immigration law, which Trump appears to be using it as a political bargaining chip. Despite loud, bipartisan calls to end the policy, the Trump administration seems intent on causing more harm to innocent children.
AFSCME members are public service workers who put their communities, including our children, above ourselves. This is why we are speaking up.
“AFSCME members make caring for families and communities their life’s work,” Saunders said. “From social workers to nurses to school bus drivers to first responders, public service workers do not choose their profession just to support their own families, but to keep all children and families healthy and safe.
“Like the vast majority of Americans, we are horrified by the Trump administration’s immoral policy of forcibly separating innocent children from their parents at the border. As parents, public service workers and American citizens, we cannot bear to see these injustices carried out in our name.”