Maui News

“Stop Separating Families” Rally on Maui Today

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A “Stop Separating Families” sign waving event takes place this afternoon on Maui.
Organizers say the event is being held in conjunction with similar rallies planned across the US in which participants are urging Congress to pass a law reversing a policy of taking children away from undocumented immigrants who cross the border.
According to a story published in The Washington Post:
“Under the “zero tolerance” approach rolled out last month by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, anyone who crosses into the United States illegally will face criminal prosecution. In most cases, that means parents who arrive with children stay in federal jails while their children are sent to HHS shelters.”
USA Today published a follow-up story on Thursday saying detailing the number of families and children affected.  According to the publication:
“The number of immigrant children held by the government jumped more than 20% in May to 10,773 — so many that the government is running out of shelter space. And time in custody has grown to two months on average. It’s unclear how many of those are older children who crossed the border on their own and how many are youngsters taken from parents. But in a 13-day period this month, 658 were among the latter.”

A earlier report, also in USA Today ran with the headline: “The feds lost — yes, lost — 1,475 migrant children.”

Eric Hargan, the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services responded to that report saying saying it “misrepresents a serious challenge for our immigration system.”  He published a response saying:

When unaccompanied alien children — the children referred to in the column — are caught trying to enter the United States illegally, they are required by law and court decision to be referred to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement. We are required to find, as soon as practicable, a parent, close relative, or other appropriate sponsor to take them in.

Approximately 90% of the children’s sponsors are parents or close relatives, and historically, ORR has not tracked children once released. Nonetheless, in 2016, ORR began making calls to sponsors 30 days after placing unaccompanied alien children to see if any other services were needed.


Hargan’s full statement is published HERE.

The White House has also compiled information on Immigration including the following stance:

“The United States must adopt an immigration system that serves the national interest. To restore the rule of law and secure our border, President Trump is committed to constructing a border wall and ensuring the swift removal of unlawful entrants. To protect American workers, the President supports ending chain migration, eliminating the Visa Lottery, and moving the country to a merit-based entry system. These reforms will advance the safety and prosperity of all Americans while helping new citizens assimilate and flourish.”


Today’s “Stop Separating Families” sign waving event will run from 4 to 6 p.m. in front of the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College campus in Kahului.


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