Sponsored by: Gerritt Rosenthal & Lisa Stiller, Washington County Approved: 08/12/2018
A RESOLUTION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF OREGON
WHEREAS, Senate Bill S 3036 “prohibits an agent or contractor of the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, or the Department of Health and Human Services from removing a child who is under the age of 18 and has no permanent immigration status from his or her parent or legal guardian at or near the port of entry or within 100 miles of the U.S. border” except under special circumstances <S.3036 – 115th Congress, Congress.gov>; and
WHEREAS, the Trump administration recently implemented a coercive, illegal “zero tolerance” policy which resulted in over 2,342 children separated from their parents(US Border statistics) (1); and
WHEREAS, in numerous cases where children were reclassified as unaccompanied minors (Slate, 6/15/2018 & VOX, 6/19/2018) they have subsequently been imprisoned in chain link enclosures, with no clear plan for reuniting them with their parents; parents continue to be deported while their children remain in the US; and
WHEREAS, these separations are in violation of the Flores Settlement (Flores v. Reno -1997 Supreme Court Decision), which set national standards for the treatment of minors taken into custody by the Department of Health and Human Services or Office of Refugee Resettlement (Human Rights First, 02/29.2016: The Flores Settlement: A Brief History and Next Steps); and
WHEREAS, members of Congress and reporters have visited numerous detention centers, finding overcrowding conditions and understaffing; (New York Times, 06/14/2018); and
WHEREAS, on June 20, 2018, President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO 13841 – Affording Congress an Opportunity to Address Family Separation. 6/20/2018) addressing family separations that reversed his policy of separating children from their parents at the border and ordered a “temporary detention policy for all families entering this country illegally”(2); (text of order from Market Watch, 6/20/2018; Federal Register, 2018 Donald Trump Executive Orders); and
WHEREAS, this order fails to protect migrants, asylum seekers, families and children by enabling the detainment of families until any legal proceedings are complete which could take years with the request for a modification to the Flores Settlement (EO 13841, Section 3 (e)); and
WHEREAS, the Democratic Party of Oregon 2018 Platform, specifically Article 7 – Immigration – Planks 2, 4, 9, 10 and 11, supports comprehensive immigration reform which recognizes the humanity and dignity and right to due process of those seeking asylum as well as all migrants.
NOW, THEREFORE, THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF OREGON RESOLVES AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. We support Senate Bill 3036, The Keep Families Together Act, and the House companion bill, HR 6135, which would prevent border agents from removing children from parents except for certain extenuating circumstances within 100 miles from a US border
Section 2. We support the enforcement of humane border security laws and oppose the “zero tolerance” policy currently employed by the Trump/ Sessions administration.
Section 3. We oppose any long detention without due process or any detention that separates families; we oppose any weakening of the Flores Settlement.
Section 4. We insist on immediate compliance with the order by the US Southern California District Court (The Honorable D.M Sabraw) June 27, 2018 order requiring immediate efforts to reunite all children with their families.
Section 5. We recognize and thank Senators Merkley and Wyden and Representative Bonamici for their leadership on ending family separations, their efforts to end the “zero tolerance” policy, and their co-sponsorship of the S3036/H 6135 legislation and we would especially recognize Senator Merkley for his trips to the border to visit detention facilities and his successful efforts to bring awareness to the situation there.