Rep. Cisneros Calls for the End of the President’s Child Separation Policy

February 7, 2019
Press Release

Watch Rep. Cisneros’s one-minute speech here.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Gilbert R. Cisneros Jr. (CA-39) gave a one-minute speech in response to President Trump’s State of the Union address and claims of an “urgent national crisis” at the southern border. In rebutting the President’s speech, Congressman Cisneros called out the Trump administration for creating a crisis this past summer when it implemented its zero-tolerance policy and separated immigrant children from their parents. Today at the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on Family Separation, witnesses were unable to answer how many children were and remain separated from their parents.

The Congressman’s remarks as delivered are below:

“A couple of days ago the President gave a State of the Union address that did nothing to promote unity, but rather used fear to further a divisive agenda against immigrants by repeating lies about his manufactured emergency at our southern border. However, there was no mention of the real crisis. The real crisis stems from the President’s inhumane family separation policies.

“Eight months since this cruel zero-tolerance policy first came to light, the number of children that were ripped away from their families at the border continues to rise. At first, the administration said nearly 3,000 children were separated from their parents. Now we are learning that it’s thousands more. The administration also claims that they can’t easily find the parents of the children they ripped away, and they don’t think it’s even worth the time to locate them.

“This inhumane policy and how they treat these children go against everything our country should stand for. The President and this administration need to do everything they can to ensure the reunification of these families.

“The prolonged separation of these children has caused irreparable damage to their mental health and wellbeing. That, Mr. President, is the real crisis that you have created at the southern border.”

Rep. Cisneros has been an advocate for undocumented immigrants, DREAMers, and TPS holders in Congress and personally through his charitable foundation. He is a cosponsor of the Keep Families Together Act, which would prohibit child separation, limit criminal prosecutions for asylum seekers, increase child welfare training, establish public policy preference for family reunification, and establish procedures for separated families.