Reproductive Justice Organizations Demand an End to Trump’s ‘Zero-Tolerance’ Policy

Enough is enough. The criminalization of immigrant families must end.

[Photo: Reproductive justice activists rally in California]
As reproductive justice organizations, part of our work is to uphold the human right of parents to raise their children with dignity and respect, free of violence, including state terror. Susy Chávez Herrera

Twenty-five reproductive justice organizations, listed below, are demanding an immediate end to the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy.

The organizations that have signed onto this letter are reproductive justice organizations that are united in our repudiation of the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy that not only led to an overwhelming increase in family separation at our southern borders, but a complete violation of human rights. It is with horror, outrage, and deep sorrow that we see our country turning its back on vulnerable immigrants, repeating a shameful history of terrorizing indigenous people and communities of color. Let us be clear: These are not new policies. They are ingrained in our history as evidenced by a legacy of slavery, taking indigenous land and kidnapping indigenous children, turning away refugees, the Chinese Exclusion Act, Operation “Wetback,” and setting up Japanese concentration camps, as but a few examples.

The reproductive justice movement is rooted in a legacy of resistance linked to the historical violence and trauma experienced by indigenous people and people of color since colonization. It was born out of the struggles that indigenous women and women of color fought against genocide, slavery, and other institutionalized acts of reproductive oppression and violence. We have always resisted the ways that colonization has stripped us of our humanity and violated the sovereignty of our bodies, our families, our communities, and our land, and the ways it continues to do so.

As reproductive justice organizations, part of our work is to uphold the human right of parents to raise their children with dignity and respect, free from violence, including state terror. The mostly Central American families currently seeking asylum on our border are fleeing unimaginable violence and poverty, conditions that are in large part a consequence of U.S. military and economic intervention, imperialism, and destabilization. Once these families reach the U.S. border, they are punished for seeking asylum and are further terrorized, abused, and denied their human rights, by being separated from their children, a policy that continues despite President Trump’s executive order.

The current administration has also failed to propose a viable reunification plan for the more than 2,300 children who have already been kidnapped from their parents. The Trump administration will continue to implement its zero tolerance policy and prosecute everyone detained at the border, which could lead to keeping asylum-seeking families in concentration camps on military bases indefinitely or expediting deportations and denying them their due process. This policy is a disgusting attempt to use children and families as political pawns while lining the pockets of defense contractors who see a massive pay day in the burgeoning detention industry.

In addition, we want to decry the recent announcement from Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the United States would not consider domestic violence or gang violence as acceptable grounds for seeking asylum. This announcement was clearly meant to make it easier to turn away Central American asylum seekers. The cruelty of his announcement is not surprising given the hate and racism this administration has shown toward women, children, LGBTQIA+ people, indigenous communities, and all people of color.

We call upon those with conscience to decry this atrocity and to continue to mobilize, wherever you may be. We demand an end to the continued criminalization of immigrant communities in this country by our government, representatives, and the media. We refuse to be desensitized to the horror and trauma inflicted on children and their families. Enough is enough!

We demand the reunification of families and sanctuary for all! We do not accept reunification without liberation. We demand an end to immigrant concentration camps on our Southern border! We demand  an end to detentions and deportations! We demand the abolishment of ICE!

¡Ningun ser humano es ilegal!

California Latinas for Reproductive Justice
Black Women for Wellness
Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR)
Empathic Solutions
Feminist Women’s Health Center
Forward Together
Healthy and Free Tennessee
Highlander Center
In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda
Interfaith Voices for Reproductive Justice
Miami Workers Center
Mississippi in Action, Inc.
Native American Community Board
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)
National Birth Equity Collaborative
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
New Voices for Reproductive Justice
SPARK Reproductive Justice! Inc.
Tewa Women United
The Afiya Center
The TransLatin@ Coalition
Women With A Vision
Young Women United