The increased separation of immigrant families crossing the border into the United States is alarming and deeply troubling. On May 4, 2018 the Department of Homeland Security stated that it will refer all immigrants who cross the border into the United States without authorization for criminal prosecution. The impact of this directive is that an increasing number of families will be separated as adult parents are sent to the custody of U.S. Marshals for criminal prosecution. Children traveling with their parents will then be separated, deemed “unaccompanied,” and placed in the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement. It is important to know that this new policy does not allow for exceptions for families arriving to the United States and willingly turning themselves into Customs and Border Protection seeking protection. Catholic Charities Atlanta shares the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops call to protect immigrant children and families seeking safety and shelter from violence by keeping these families together. Family unity is a foundational element of Catholic teaching. Unnecessarily separating families is detrimental to basic child welfare principles, contrary to our Catholic values, and ineffective to the goals of deterrence and safety. To learn more, please review and share information on family separation and unaccompanied children on the Justice for Immigrants website. We also ask that you take action with lawmakers and tell your Members of Congress that you want them to oppose family separation today.


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