OWLS Statement Opposing Family Separation at Border

June 29, 2018

Oregon Women Lawyers strongly opposes any policy of separating minor children from their parents when families present for asylum or cross the border into the United States for any reason. OWLS also strongly opposes any policy of placing minor children in immigration detention facilities. These unnecessarily cruel actions violate due process and are antithetical to OWLS’ commitment to ensuring justice and equality.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has pointed out that by 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 separation of families and detention of minor children causes grave harm to children and their families. This inhumane policy has overwhelmed the criminal justice system and causes inefficiencies in the immigration court system when children, as young as toddlers, appear in court on their own, with no right to appointed counsel.

While the recent executive order appears to stop the routine practice of separating children from their parents, it does not present a lasting solution. OWLS calls on immigration authorities to immediately return the over 2,300 minor children who have been separated from their families to their parents. OWLS calls on congressional leadership to enact laws that will prevent these practices from ever recurring.

{We acknowledge the American Academy of Pediatrics, the New York State Bar Association, and the American Medical Association for their contributions to this statement.}

Families Belong Together – Portland Rally

Families Belong Together- Portland Rally

Saturday, June 30 at 10 a.m. Activism Fair; 11 a.m. Rally and Speeches
North Park Blocks, Portland, OR 97209 (NW Everett St at NW 8th Ave)

Join Americans around the country in saying loud and clear that children belong with their parents, and #FamiliesBelongTogether. Bring protest signs, bring your family and friends, and wear WHITE to show solidarity. 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Attend an “Activism Fair” designed with kids and adults in mind: crafts (possibilities are liberty crowns & monarch butterflies), write a postcard to new immigrant children to welcome them to America, a sidewalk chalk art project, voter registration, informational tables, a pledge card drive against IP 22, and more.

11 a.m. Rally begins. Speakers will include Kayse Jama of Unite Oregon, Josielyn Kremm, a USMC veteran & mom whose parents came to the U.S. as undocumented immigrants, and more. 12 noon.

After speeches, the Oregon Jewish Museum will be open and people can (with admission) view exhibits such as Discrimination & Resistance: An Oregon Primary. 5 blocks away is the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center.

Facebook Live event on Migrant Children and the Border Crisis

OWLS Member May Low, Chief of Staff at Catholic Charities shared this event with us which will be held on Thursday, June 27 at noon. This one hour Facebook Live event hosts a discussion on new, existing, and past border policies & how they affect children crossing the border.

“Hear from two of our immigration and refugee experts, and learn what you can do to be most helpful in the midst of this crisis. We’ll be selecting questions during the LIVE event for a mini Q&A session at the end.”

Please join Kelsey Keswani and Sarah Purce in this Facebook LIVE event this Thursday.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/181433215860603/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bkd1pzPBTiZ/?taken-by=catholiccharitiesoforegon (for Instagram LIVE following)

From Lawyer Moms of America

Shared by OWLS Executive Director Linda Tomassi:

Lawyer Moms of America, Oregon Chapter (Facebook) asked that I ask you to be signatories on this letter.

They also requested you join one of the letter deliveries under the Events.  All of them are at NOON on Friday, June 29, except Kurt Schrader’s office in Salem, which is at 12:30 pm.

Here are the details:

  • Sen. Merkley – 121 SW Salmon St; Portland, OR 97204 – headed up by Holli K Houston
  • Sen Wyden & Rep Blumenauer – 911 NE 11th Ave.; Portland, OR 97232 – headed up by Candice Aiston and Brett Applegate
  • Rep. Bonamici – 12725 SW Millikan Way; Beaverton, OR 97005 – headed up by Amanda Amie Marshall
  • Rep. Schrader – 530 Center St. SE; Salem, OR 97301 – headed up by Amy Fearncombe Meyers
  • Rep. DeFazio – 405 E. 8th St.; Eugene, OR 97401 – headed up by Lauren Cullop
  • Rep. Walden – 1051 NW Bond St.; Bend, OR 97703 – headed up by Marcia Houston

Welcome to OWLS Special Committee on Family Separation & Child Detention

This special committee is charged to coordinate OWLS’ response to United States policies of family separation and child detention of immigrants. The special committee will seek to educate the membership about the policies, publicize pro bono opportunities, encourage donations dedicated to the care of detained children and parents, and advocate for the end of family separation and child detention policies.