URGENT: Contact DHS Now and Demand Justice for Victims of Family Separation | Physicians for Human Rights

URGENT: Contact DHS Now and Demand Justice for Victims of Family Separation

Advocacy Image: 
Total Petition Signers: 

Contact Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Mayorkas today and urge him to go beyond reunification and provide separated families with the resources they need to heal from the trauma inflicted by U.S. immigration policies. As PHR has documented, the U.S. government’s forcible separation of asylum-seeking families constituted cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment and, in all cases PHR evaluated, meet criteria for torture and enforced disappearance. 

And while reunification of separated families is a crucial first step, it is only part of the U.S. government’s legal and moral obligation to families who suffered at the hands of this policy. 

Message
Your Message
Families separated at the border deserve justice now.
Dear Secretary Mayorkas,

I’m writing today to thank you for your comments on March 1 committing the Biden administration to exploring pathways that would allow migrant families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border under President Trump to stay in the United States. This is a critical first step in righting the wrongs of the previous administration.

However, I want to urge the Department of Homeland Security to go beyond reunification as you work to rectify the harm caused by this disastrous immigration policy. In 2020, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) released a groundbreaking report, “You Will Never See Your Child Again: The Persistent Psychological Effects of Family Separation” (https://www.phr.org/familyseparation), which found that the U.S. government’s forcible separation of asylum-seeking families constituted cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment and, in all cases PHR evaluated, meet criteria for torture and enforced disappearance.

To even begin to address the level of harm and trauma experienced by these families, the Biden administration must:

- Provide mental health services to help address the severe psychological trauma inflicted on families separated by the U.S. government. Additional funding for mental health services is urgently needed.

- Offer legal residency in the United States to those affected as well as redress for harms endured.

- Hold accountable the perpetrators of the family separation policy. Without investigating the full extent of the human rights violation that took place and holding those who designed and implemented this policy responsible, we risk a repeat of this shameful chapter of history.

I urge you to not only commit to reunification, but to take these comprehensive steps to address the needs and well-being of families separated while legally exercising their right to seek asylum in the United States – and then suffering inexcusable cruelty at the hands of the U.S. government.

Sincerely,

[First Name] [Last Name]