October 07, 2020

Udall Statement on New Watchdog Report on Trump Administration Family Separation Policy

Draft watchdog report reportedly confirms that President Trump, White House officials, and top DOJ Leaders intentionally implemented cruel child separation policy, despite false denials to the American public

SANTA FE, N.M.—Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) released the following statement demanding the immediate public release of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Department of Justice’s report on the Trump administration’s deliberate separation of children from their parents applying for asylum at the border. Udall is calling for swift congressional action in response to the report: 

“The Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents at the border, with no plan to reunify them, is one of the most inhumane practices in our country’s recent history. Now, this independent watchdog report reveals that the president and his closest advisors deliberately developed this policy to target infants, toddlers and children applying for asylum with their parents to discourage other families seeking refuge. We also now know that top leadership at the Department of Justice was fully on board with this cruel policy, with Attorney General Jeff Sessions reportedly uttering the shameful words: ‘we need to take away children.’ 

“When Americans across party lines were shocked and appalled by this scandal, the Trump administration lied to the public—insisting that family separation was an unintended consequence of other policies. We now know the truth beyond any doubt: this was an intentional scheme to inflict needless suffering to advance the Trump administration’s immoral immigration policy. 

“The full OIG report must be immediately released to the American people, and the Senate must convene hearings urgently—so that the officials who orchestrated this inhumane family separation policy are forced to answer for their actions. The families that the Trump administration separated at the border will have to live with this trauma for the rest of their lives. As a nation, we must hold the officials who carried out this policy accountable for violating fundamental human rights. While the so-called ‘zero tolerance’ policy ended in the face of public outrage, the Trump administration continues to separate families to this day. Families belong together, and Congress should immediately pass the Keep Families Together Act and other legislation I have joined in the Senate to make sure that such heinous human rights violations never happen again.” 

To learn more about legislation Udall has introduced to safeguard human rights in immigration custody, click here.