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Fighting Back Against Family Separations

As part of its so-called “zero tolerance” policy of prosecuting immigrants who enter the United States without authorization, the Trump Administration this year launched a campaign to separate immigrant children from their parents. As administration officials readily admit, the policy was designed to terrify immigrants with the prospect of being separated from their child during detention as a way of dissuading them from attempting to enter the United States. From early May through early June of this year, Administration officials said that they had separated more than 2,000 children from their parents as part of this new anti-immigrant initiative.

The criminalization of immigrants trying to enter the United States, including those with credible claims of persecution that might make them eligible for protections under international laws governing refugees and asylum-seekers, is just the latest, if cruelest, step in the Trump Administration’s drive to keep immigrants out of America.

Hispanic Federation has been on the frontlines of opposing the Trump Administration’s policies and has recently partnered with Alianza Americas to launch a national series of Immigrant Family Unity Forums to help educate and inform key community, philanthropic and public stakeholders about the state of crisis immigrant children and families are facing due to the family separation policies. To date, we’ve hosted community forums in Washington, DC, New York City, and Chicago, and will be conducting additional sessions in Miami and San Francisco.

These forums will explore the historic and transnational roots of the ongoing tragedy of family separation at the US southern border with Mexico, ongoing displacement of people from the Caribbean to the mainland, and the next humanitarian crisis around the corner - the separation of children from parents with Temporary Protected Status, starting in January 2019.

“We launched these forums in early October and our hope is to explore the roots of this ongoing tragedy of family separations and focus on what we can do about it,” said Hispanic Federation’s National Director of Advocacy Laura Esquivel. “The more I travel around the country speaking to people about this administration’s immigration policies the more I hear people express their outrage and, frankly, their disgust at what is being done in our name. These forums are a good way of explaining the contours of the current crisis but, more importantly, what we can do as a community to fight back.”

For additional information on upcoming forums, please contact our AVP for Policy Jessica Orozco at