New York, NY – Almost 350 national, state, and local Jewish organizations—including the Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative and Orthodox movements—sent a joint letter urging the Administration to immediately rescind the “zero tolerance” policy of criminally prosecuting all adults who cross the border. This practice forces authorities to separate children from their migrant parents because there are laws protecting immigrant children against prolonged detention.
Organized by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Reform Movement, and HIAS, the letter urges the Administration uphold the values of family unity and justice on which our nation was built by ending the “zero tolerance” policy. Unfortunately, the executive order signed yesterday fails to terminate this policy, instead opening the door to repealing the laws currently preventing authorities from detaining children for long periods of time. It essentially seeks to replace family separation with indefinite family detention.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, thousands of children have already been torn from their parents since the policy was implemented. Mounting evidence suggests that many children have been threatened, treated poorly, and held in dangerous conditions.
Originally issued last week with 26 national groups, the organizers reopened the letter to include the many organizations around the country that wanted to collectively voice their outrage in response to such inhumane policy.
The full text of the letter is available here.