Kilmer Statement on Detention of Asylum-Seeking Mothers in Washington State

WASHINGTON, DCFollowing reporting from The Seattle Times that more than 100 asylum seekers who have been separated from their children are being held in a federal detention center at Seattle Tacoma International Airport, Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA) made the following statement:

“The Trump Administration’s action to forcibly separate and detain the children of asylum seekers is both illegal and immoral. President Trump needs to reunite these parents with their children at once, and if he refuses Congress should act quickly to end this unlawful program.”

The America I know is the one which welcomed my grandmother and mother after the Second World War, in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty adorned with the words: ‘give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. We can, and we must, do better than this.”

Under international and US law, those who arrive at the border and turn themselves over to authorities with a legitimate claim of asylum due to fear of violence or persecution must be given an opportunity to have that claim heard.