STATEMENT: Equality Florida on Trump Policy of Separating Immigrant Families
“Equality Florida adds its voice to the overwhelming public outcry against the Trump administration's policy that has torn more than 2300 traumatized children, toddlers, and infants from asylum-seekers and immigrant parents who believed the words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty.
“Despite days of denials and claims of powerlessness to stop family separations, this is a crisis of the Trump administration's own making. And yet, the Executive Order issued in the face of massive public pressure fails to adequately safeguard children. There are no guarantees, or even stated mechanisms, for those children currently in detention camps to be reunited with their families. And, the Executive Order leaves the door open for the original policy to resume.
“As an organization, we have taken a firm stand in support of a fair immigration policy grounded in the knowledge that LGBTQ refugees may face death or become political prisoners if they are refused asylum.
“Separating families represents the most recent assault in the Trump Administration's sustained attack on immigrants, including LGBTQ immigrants. Shortly after taking office, the Trump administration abruptly ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, endangering more than 75,000 LGBTQ people protected from deportation and authorized to work in the U.S. In addition, the Trump travel bans sought to prohibit entry from certain primarily majority-Muslim countries, including countries where LGBTQ individuals face extreme danger or death for living their authentic lives. Furthermore, the Trump travel bans' restrictive approach to entry based on blood-related family fails to recognize that LGBTQ couples may lack access to marriage and that LGBTQ families may be based on close personal relationships that constitute chosen families, independent of biological relation. Equality Florida stands shoulder-to-shoulder with other marginalized communities. We are united against these callous attacks.
“Thousands of children remain in custody, separated from their families. The administration’s lack of a clear plan, or even intent, to reunite children with their families is shameful, an international embarrassment and a dereliction of the most basic human decency. The Trump administration also reportedly has no policy in place for dealing with LGBTQ youth confined in its custody. Limited data available shows that LGBTQ individuals face a far greater risk of sexual abuse while detained than the general population. Detention is not just emotionally traumatic, but physically dangerous.
“Equality Florida joins partner organizations in calling for swift action to reunify families torn apart by this unconscionable policy and in supporting the Keep Families Together Act, introduced in response to the Trump administration's "new zero-tolerance policy" announced in April 2018. Congress must establish a strong presumption for family unity and affirmatively prohibit the removal of children from their parents or guardians on the border, except in cases of danger to the children. The Trump administration has made painfully clear that it cannot be trusted to protect the safety and basic human dignity of immigrant families, LGBTQ or otherwise.”
We encourage all pro-equality supporters to attend a Families Belong Together rally in their area to speak out against Trump’s zero-tolerance policy and make it clear the administration must reunite every single family that remains brutally torn apart. A map of rallies can be found here: https://www.