June 21, 2018


The cruelty, the callousness, the inhumanity of  President Trump’s so called “zero tolerance” policy has now been reconfirmed and reinforced by the President’s desperate, clumsy and ill-informed attempts to cover up and distract from his actions.   

The lies, the misinformation, the confused stories which changed by the hour over the past days cannot hide the fact that thousands of children have been left stranded and in immediate peril to their mental and physical health while their parents face an impossible web of laws and regulations never intended to deal with such a mass, arbitrary act.  Health professionals and their organizations have been swamping my office with briefings on the effects on a child’s developing brain by denying them physical touch and constant parental protection, the dangers of confining masses of children together who may not have had the full range of vaccinations against communicable disease, and the dangers of medicating children too young to give consent.

The President’s new, often contradictory, orders to continue pursuing his policy now face the cold reality of a $3 billion plus price tag and not even a suggestion of where the money and human resources might come from.  These policies have created a new expansion of the for-profit prison system already corrupting justice in America.  The separation of parents and children expands on the already staggering cost imposed on families by the faux Republican “war on drugs” which continues to erode families in communities all across our nation by removing fathers and mothers from the home.

President Trump’s appeals to prejudice, stereotype and hyperbole regarding immigration have only deepened the divisions in his own party.  America is a land of immigrants, built by immigrants and constantly enriched by immigration for hundreds of years. The bankruptcy and inadequacy of the two bills before the House have underlined the reality that after decades of Republican refusal to put forward legislative solutions to the profound issues and challenges of immigration they still have no answers.  After reaching agreement on DACA with the Democratic leadership the President arbitrary walked away from compromise legislation. A majority of Americans oppose building Trump's wall, but 83% support giving Dreamers citizenship.

Now is the time to come to agreement on comprehensive immigration reform.  I call for, and our nation urgently needs, emergency policy and legislation to reunite the shattered families of the thousands of children now in detention.    I call for, and our nation urgently needs, a path to citizenship and a recognition of rights for the millions of undocumented now living productive lives in the U.S.   

I call for, and our nation urgently needs, legislation recognizing and protecting citizenship for all of the DACA eligible youth in the U.S.  I call for, and our nation urgently needs, to protect our borders effectively and humanely not with engineering boondoggles or fantastical “walls.”  

I have co-sponsored such legislation in the past and continue to support this rational, reasonable and moral approach.  Perhaps most of all, I call for and our nation urgently needs, to reject the use racial, religious and ethnic hatred to divide our nation for political advantage, to distract from the growing economic inequality in our nation by blaming people of color. We are so much better than this as a nation and now is the time to demonstrate that.

Congressman Danny K. Davis is the Ranking Member of the Human Resources Committee Subcommittee of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee