Children Should Not Be Forcibly Removed


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Even though it appears that President Trump has backed away from his “zero tolerance” policy and is retreating from his edict of separating families who enter the United States without qualified documentation, the trauma experienced by thousands of children who were ripped from the arms of their parents has already been done. Families have been separated, and many parents reportedly do not know the whereabouts of their children, or how to find them. Unfortunately, Native American communities know the trauma experienced when our most precious resources—our children—are removed from their parents and communities and put under government guardianship.

NARF affirms our strong belief that children of asylum seekers should not be forcibly removed from their parents as they come to America in search of peace, happiness, opportunity, and a safe life. We affirm that these families must be reunited, and that the US government has a duty to account for the welfare of every child separated from family pursuant to this inhumane policy. This administration’s recent immigration actions are offensive to what it means to be an American, though America has a long history of taking minority children from their parents, often never returning them or informing their families of their whereabouts.

In our communities, decades of federal boarding school policy removed Native American children from their parents and damaged Native communities in ways we are still dealing with today. Historical traumas are not quickly forgotten and affect families, communities, and even nations for decades after the action has taken place. The current administration and its dangerous policy line not only strained our nation’s international relationships, but was an affront to the wishes of the American people and a violation of all contemporary human rights principles. NARF stands in solidarity with our global brothers and sisters in calling for the United States to humanely treat asylum seeking families.