WASHINGTON, June 19, 2018 – In this statement, 14 CEOs representing some of the nation’s largest and most influential human service nonprofits noted:

Separating immigrant children from their parents when they come to the border should never be a part of American policy. On behalf of the human services sector, representing more than five million staff and volunteers, we call on the Trump administration to immediately stop this wrong and immoral policy that has resulted in more than 2000 children being needlessly separated from their parents while their parents are being processed at our borders.

Furthermore, we call on the U.S. Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement to take immediate steps to restore connections between the infants, toddlers, and teens who are currently in custody and their family members who are awaiting processing, including regular visitation and communication.

The standards of care for these children must be equal to that expected in our current child welfare system, which, at a minimum, should include access to a safe environment appropriate for families, age-appropriate services including education, trauma-informed mental and other health services, and family-based legal and immigration counseling. We urge the administration and Congress to immediately put into place the laws, processes, and resources that will ensure the health, safety, and well-being of children and not be harmful and traumatizing to them, and stand ready to work with them to implement such policies. We must ensure all our actions are grounded in the humanitarian values we have long held as a nation.

Signers

Susan Dreyfus
President and CEO
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities  

Nancy Brown
Chief Executive Officer
American Heart Association

Sister Donna Markham
President & CEO
Catholic Charities USA

Michael Brown
Chief Executive Officer
City Year

Matthew M. Knott
President
Feeding America

Sylvia Acevedo
Chief Executive Officer
Girl Scouts of the USA

Judy Vredenburgh
President & CEO
Girls Incorporated  

Jonathan Reckford
Chief Executive Officer
Habitat for Humanity International

Charlotte Haberaecker
President & CEO
Lutheran Services in America

Paul Gionfriddo
President & CEO
Mental Health America

James Firman
President & CEO
National Council on Aging  

Brian Gallagher
President & CEO
United Way Worldwide

Mike King
President
Volunteers of America 

Alejandra Castillo
Chief Executive Officer
YWCA USA