Congresswoman Bustos Calls on President Trump to Stop Separating Children from their Parents at the Border

96% of constituent calls & emails on Trump’s family separation policy since Friday are against it– despite Trump winning IL-17 in 2016

Inhumane policy is causing “irreparable harm” to children

Moline, IL- Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17) issued the following statement on the Trump Administration’s policy to separate children from their parents presenting themselves to border patrol, and lawfully seeking asylum.

“As the mother of three boys, I can’t imagine anything more devastating than having one of my kids ripped out of my arms, dragged to a van and locked up in a detention center,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. “But that is exactly what’s happened to thousands of families on the border who are literally running away from unimaginable violence in their home countries. President Trump is not telling the truth when he says that he’s just enforcing the law. This is his policy and he is choosing to do it. President Trump could end this crisis with a single phone call; instead, he’s using thousands of children to gain political leverage. Breaking up families seeking our help is the exact opposite of American values. I call on President Trump to end this cruel, unusual and un-American policy before any more children are permanently damaged by his actions.”

Since Friday, Congresswoman Bustos’ office recorded 130 calls, voicemails and emails from constituents opposing President Trump’s family separation policy. By contrast, her office received just five messages supporting the President’s action.

Despite President Trump winning Illinois’ 17th Congressional District in 2016, 96% of the constituents who have contacted Congresswoman Bustos’ office about this issue since Friday oppose the President’s family separation policy.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has also come out in strong opposition to the President’s policy stating, “In fact, highly stressful experiences, like family separation, can cause irreparable harm, disrupting a child’s brain architecture and affecting his or her short- and long-term health. This type of prolonged exposure to serious stress – known as toxic stress – can carry lifelong consequences for children.”

 Congresswoman Bustos is a co-sponsor of the Keeping Families Together Act which will be introduced in the House this week to promote family unity by prohibiting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials from separating children from their parents. This bill requires an independent child welfare official to review any separation and return the child without harm. It also imposes financial penalties on officials who violate the prohibition on family separation.