In the six weeks immediately following the introduction of the ‘zero tolerance’ policy alone, 2,000 children were taken away from their parents. Furthermore, over 450 parents have been deported without any knowledge of their children’s whereabouts, leaving these children vulnerable and isolated. The damage to these children and their families will undoubtedly be both lasting and severe.
President Trump’s administration has defended this illegal practice by suggesting it is the ‘most effective’ way to deter what is considered unauthorised migration. It bears reminding that many of these families are fleeing from the Northern Triangle of Central America, considered one of the most dangerous parts of the world. This makes the direct contradiction of their human rights even more shocking.
Joint General Secretaries Dr Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney have written to His Excellency Mr Julian Braithwaite, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, UK Mission to the UN and Other International Organisations in Geneva regarding the human rights abuses of children and families seeking asylum in the United States. They have called on the Ambassador to hold President Trump’s administration to account and protect the rights and futures of these families.
As educators and unionists, we have built our careers on defending the rights and futures of children and colleagues both at home and abroad.