RICHMOND, VA -- The Green Party of Virginia is appalled by the treatment of immigrant
children at Health and Human Services (HHS) centers across the country. The Department of
Homeland Security (DHS), in conjunction with Border Patrol agents, Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE), and the Department of Justice (DOJ), has forcibly taken nearly 2,000
children from their parents in the last several months. Despite President Trump’s statements,
there is no law forcing the President or any executive agency to remove children from the
custody of their parents.
The practice of family separation has seen well-deserved condemnation from across the political
spectrum and from non-partisan organizations. All Senate Democrats have signed onto a bill that
would end the policy, and even some Republican representatives have spoken up against it. It has
received condemnation from Laura Bush and Michelle Obama. The American Academy of
Pediatrics has condemned this policy, stating, “The new policy is the latest example of harmful
actions by the Department of Homeland Security against immigrant families, hindering their
right to seek asylum in our country and denying parents the right to remain with their children.”
We call on Governor Northam to ensure that no Virginians, whether military or civilian, are
involved in the enforcement of this inhumane and cruel policy. We demand that he declare
Virginia a sanctuary state open to individuals of all races and from anywhere on the globe,
without concern for the means by which they entered the country. We further demand the
immediate reunification of immigrant families. In the long-term we call on Congress to provide
an easy and direct pathway to citizenship for every immigrant. Further, consistent with our belief
in human rights and limiting authoritarianism in government, we call for the abolition of ICE as
well as a human rights investigation into current and past abuses of immigrant children.
Until this policy ends and elected officials begin to take steps toward a more humane and
welcoming immigration system, Greens across Virginia will participate in marches and actions.
We strongly endorse such protests, including the June 30 March planned for Washington D.C.
and other cities.