Cruel and Heartless Child Abuse

Statement on U.S. border policy from New York State Bar Association President Michael Miller

“The current policy of separating minor migrant children from their parents as part of U.S. border policy is cruel and heartless child abuse, it is inhumane, and it is un-American.

“Many of these children have already suffered and this policy imposes a completely avoidable trauma. Additionally, the forced separation of the children from their parents deprives both parent and child of reasonable due process and is a gross departure from the norms of a civilized society.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics has pointed out that by forcefully removing children from a parent or parents on whom they have relied throughout an arduous journey to the border, the U.S. government is engaging in child abuse that can result in irreparable harm with lifelong consequences.

“The American Medical Association has adopted a resolution opposing the practice of separating migrating children from their caregivers in the absence of immediate physical or emotional threats to the child’s well-being.

“The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has severely criticized the U.S. border policy of separating migrant minor children from their parents, calling such actions ‘unconscionable.’

“The New York State Bar Association calls upon the Trump administration to immediately cease this dangerous and inappropriate policy, which denies the children and their parents basic due process and potentially exposes the children to serious long-term harm.

“We also call upon our members to contact their representatives in the U.S. House and Senate with a simple message: Immediately enact legislation prohibiting the separation of children from their parents at the border, absent physical or emotional threats to the children’s well-being.”

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