QCH ED Ben Thomases Responds to Family Separation
July 3, 2018
On Friday, 6/29/18, Ben Thomases released this statement re: Family Separation Policy
"[Queens Community House's] mission and vision statements reflects our core value that all people deserve support, opportunity and dignity. Because we cherish this value, we are outraged by the separation of children from families at the border, the banning of travel based upon religion, the rejection of individuals seeking asylum, and the efforts to end DACA. Our efforts to build healthy inclusive communities must include lifting our voices up, along with so many of our partners, to denounce these policies.
"The separation of children of parents upon crossing the border from Mexico to the US is a particularly hideous policy. This practice is reminiscent of shameful moments in US history when children were separated from families: African-Americans under slavery, Native Americans during the Trail of Tears, and during the Japanese Internment. After all of the progress our society has made, and yet here we find ourselves in 2018 witnessing government employees tearing 2000 plus children, some infants and toddlers, from their parents. The research is clear that many of these children will suffer lifelong trauma from this policy because of even relatively brief separations. And even more shocking, the government has deeply inadequate systems in place to reunite these children with their families when their immigration cases are resolved, raising the terrifying specter that some of these children may never see their parents again.
"Our sites, our programs, services and activities are necessary havens, supports and source of information, particularly legal information, for our community members vulnerable to current practices stemming from anti-immigrant sentiment."