Senator Benjamin’s Statement on Passage of SCAR Act Through Key Senate Committee

(Albany, NY) After the passage of S222B, the Separation of Children Accountability Reporting Act (the SCAR Act), through the Senate Standing Committee on Children and Families chaired by  Senator Velmanette Montgomery, Senator Benjamin issued the following statement:

“Today is an important step forward in our long journey to protect children and families from Trump’s zero tolerance policy. I thank Senator Montgomery for her leadership and commitment in bringing the SCAR Act to a vote in her committee today, and my colleagues on the committee for their support. Our next steps will be the Senate Finance committee, the floor of the State Senate, where we have 36 co-sponsors (more than enough to pass the bill), and then the  Assembly Children and Families committee, where more than half of the Democratic members are co-sponsors. I look forward to working with Assemblymember Epstein to move this bill through the Assembly.

Let me be clear: we cannot trust Trump’s federal government to look after the migrant children they are tearing from their parents at the border. As in so many other cases, it is a moral imperative that New York State provide leadership and accountability. These children are here, we need to stand up and take responsibility.

I trust the child care agencies like the Cayuga Center in my district to care for these precious children. But I do not trust the federal government to keep track of the children while those services are being provided. That is  why the current version of the SCAR Act requires the New York State Office of Children and Family Services to report vital information about these children to the legislature, providing what Trump’s government has failed to provide. And that is why we must pass the SCAR Act this session.”

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