Reunite Asylum-Seeking Congolese Mother and 7yo Daughter

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The Washington Post editorial board asks, "WHAT, EXACTLY, did a 7-year-old Congolese girl do to the United States to deserve the trauma that has been visited upon her — including forcible separation from her mother — by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and her immigration agents?"

We, the undersigned, want to know, as well. We demand they be reunited. We demand that all parents and children detained during the immigration and asylum and refugee processes remain together as a matter of indisputable policy. 

Although the family has been determined as having a good chance for being granted asylum, the 7-year-old daughter, identified as "S.S.," was wrenched from her mother ("Ms. L") as they arrived in the US, while frantically screaming and wailing for her. The mother could hear her daughter's heartbreaking calls to be with her from the next room, and was denied staying with her.

Now the Department of Homeland Security has placed them in facilities more than 2,000 miles apart. The child has only been able to speak to her mother six times in four months on the phone, and observed her 7th birthday with no family at all.

This cruel and heartless action by DHS needs to be remedied immediately. For the health of both the child and her mother, we insist you reunite them in a family center before more damage has been done.

Traumatizing children and families is not an American ideal. Inflicting psychological torture to those "yearning to breathe free" is not an American standard. Setting this cruel behavior as standard policy to create a "chilling effect" to other asylum-seekers is horrific and contrary to the spirit of our Constitution and the principles upon which this country was founded.

Remedy this traumatizing situation by permanently reuniting Ms. L and S.S., as well as the other children separated from their parents during these processes. It is the right thing to do.

Use a colored pencil or colored text to write Senators in California and Illinois, and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (@SecNielsen).

Please see March 4, 2018 Washington Post editorial "Gratuitous cruelty by Homeland Security: Separating a 7-year-old from her mother."

Related lawsuit by ACLU:

DHS contact info:


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