NUHW calls for migrant families to be immediately reunited

June 29th, 2018

NUHW’s Executive Board unanimously passed a resolution Thursday, June 28 condemning President Trump’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policies and calling on his administration to immediately return migrant children to their parents.

The resolution followed a statement signed by seven NUHW Executive vice presidents, who are also mental health clinicians, warning that the administration’s “zero-tolerance” approach risked causing acute emotional trauma for immigrant children that could have long-term health implications for them.

The resolution, which also calls on the Trump Administration to adopt immigration policies that are “compassionate and lawful,” marks the second time our Executive Board has taken a stand on immigration. Last year, following member discussions across California, the board declared NUHW a Sanctuary Union, committing us to support and provide legal defense to any members facing deportation.

“NUHW remains committed to standing up for the rights of all people, including undocumented immigrants,” NUHW President Sal Rosselli said. “We cannot be silent while the federal government imperils the health and well-being of thousands of children.”

The union’s resolution follows:

Whereas the Trump Administration has initiated a “zero-tolerance” policy of arresting and criminally prosecuting migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border even those who are seeking asylum;

Whereas the Administration separated 2,342 migrant children from their parents, housing them in makeshift camps while their parents awaited criminal prosecution;

Whereas President Trump signed a June 20 executive order reversing its policy of separating migrant children from their parents, yet his administration still failed to immediately reunite all of these families;

Whereas the American Public Health Association has warned that separation from one’s parents can cause long-term emotional and physical harm to children, including placing them at higher risk to suffer from depression, anxiety and substance abuse;

Whereas the Administration now is claiming legal authority to house migrant families indefinitely in federal detention centers despite federal court rulings protecting children from long stays at such facilities;

Whereas President Trump declared that migrants should be expelled from the country without any judicial hearings despite the fact that such action would almost certainly be ruled unconstitutional; and

Whereas previous administrations, both Democratic and Republican, refrained from criminally prosecuting migrants who enter the United States with the children;

Now, therefore, be it resolved that the National Union of Healthcare Workers:

Urges the Trump Administration to immediately and humanely reunite migrant children with their families;

Urges the Trump Administration to completely end its “Zero Tolerance” policy toward migrants crossing into the United States; and

Supports all peaceful actions taken to pressure and compel the administration to reunite families separated at the border and adopt immigration policies that are compassionate and lawful.