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Police Chiefs Denounce Family Separation, Call for Answers

Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force   Press Releases

Click here for a recording of today’s press call

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Law enforcement leaders expressed grave concerns about children who remain separated from their parents during a press call today.

Following President Trump’s executive order on Wednesday, police chiefs called for a plan to reunite children with their families and objected to the potential of indefinite family detention.

The following are quotes from speakers on today’s call:

Art Acevedo, Chief of Police, Houston Police Department:
“President Trump was right to reverse a decision his administration never should have made. However, family detention is not the solution to family separation. It is not a shared American value. We don’t lock up families. They don’t pose a threat. We know that having children in these institutionalized environments is extremely harmful to their development. We need to utilize proven strategies to have these people have due process that they’re entitled to and minimize the harm to innocent children.”

Mark Prosser, Director of Public Safety, Storm Lake, Iowa:
“What actually has improved here? Where do we go next? The detention of families is just as serious as the detention of children. Our entire criminal justice system, and specifically our juvenile justice system, is designed around keeping the family together. Now we have more than 2,000 children who remain separated from their families.”

Mike Tupper, Chief of Police, Marshalltown, Iowa:
“Zero tolerance policies do not work and completely discount the humanity of the situations that we have to deal with on a daily basis. We need to immediately put a process in place to reunite all children who have been separated from their parents. I’m concerned about the prolonged detention of children even with their parents. Holding children for long periods in immigration jails will affect them physically and emotionally.”

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