The 223rd Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly “condemns the President’s June 20th Executive Order ‘Affording Congress an Opportunity to Address Family Separation’ that further criminalizes migration through the expansion of family detention on military bases and other government property, potentially indefinitely.”
Watch Rev. Jimmie Hawkins statement HERE
The president’s order does nothing to address the plight of the more than 2,300 children who have already been separated from their parents under the president’s “zero tolerance” policy. The reality is that it may not stop separating families, will not reunite the thousands of families already torn apart, and aims to lock up even more children and families.
The order codifies Attorney General Sessions’s zero-tolerance policy, instructing officials to continue to prosecute adults crossing the border as criminals—including those who are seeking asylum–, “but will seek to find or build facilities that can hold families—parents and children together—instead of separating them while their legal cases are considered by the courts.” The order also seeks to modify the 1997 Flores settlement agreement that bars the detention of migrant children for more than 20 days.
The executive order instructs attorney general Jeff Sessions to ask for the federal court’s permission to open the terms of the Flores agreement so that the families can be kept in custody until their cases are resolved.