NY Senate Latino Caucus Condemns Separation, Detention of Immigrant Families

(en Espanol) Deeply concerned with the separation of families at our southern border, and frustrated by more than a decade of federal inaction on comprehensive immigration reforms, today, members of the New York State Latino Caucus issued the following statements:

“No one supports separating children from families and shipping them on to their separate ways to detention facilities dotting the nation. If they do, that level of callousness has nothing to do with policy; that is hatred and intent and has little to do with the law of the land,” said State Senator Martin Malavé Dilan, Chair of the NYS Senate Latino Caucus.

“This demonizing of immigrants has become the shame of our nation,” State Senator Luis Sepulveda (D-Bronx).  He continued, “Administrations of both political parties have failed to modernize our immigration system.  They have allowed human traffickers and corporations, looking for cheap labor, to continue a pattern of human exploitation with unbearable suffering which never should exist in a civil society.”

State Senator Marisol Alcantara (D-Manhattan/Bronx) asserted, “The total number of children separated by our government from their parents goes well beyond the 2,000 currently reported by the Trump Administration.  Over 140,000 American-born children have been left as state’s foster care systems or with an extended family member as caregiver due to the mass deportation policies of the past two federal administrations.  The effect of these xenophobic policies is the permanent separation of American children from their parents.”

According to State Senator Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx), “These children, currently housed throughout our City and our State, are now under the careful watch of policymakers that have for decades made New York a more welcoming place for immigrants.  New York laws, social programs, and legal services for immigrants are positive aspects to this terrible situation. I along with my legislative colleagues and advocates will be working to ensure that the shame and hurt created by the Trump Administration ends when the borders of New York are crossed.”

State Senator Jose Peralta (D-Queens) said, "Family separations are not only a tragedy, but also a clear sign of the decline of kindness and dignity since the election of the current Administration. The world is watching us and they are watching a horror movie unfold, in which a heartless federal government takes children away from their parents.  Hundreds of these kids were brought to New York.  We must ensure we put all the resources necessary to reunite them with their parents. That isn't too much to ask, however, this Administration is now known for its ruthless anti-immigrant policies. Simply put, separating children from their parents is unimaginable and inhumane."

State Senator Jose M. Serrano (D-Bronx) stated, “The family separations that have been taking place at the U.S.-Mexico border undermine the most basic of American values. Above all, children need to feel safe and secure. We must ensure that the children housed in the Bronx, East Harlem and elsewhere in New York have the care and resources they need as we continue working to reunite them with their families.”