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Migrant children in Portland

On Sunday, Senator Jeff Merkley, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Rep. Peter DeFazio, and I toured the Morrison Child & Family Services shelter in Portland. Morrison is housing young migrants who have traveled to the United States in search of safety; most of them made the trip without a guardian.

At the southern border, the Trump administration has separated thousands of children and teens from their parents or other family members. The physical, psychological, and emotional trauma that these children are experiencing will likely last a lifetime and affect generations to come.

The conditions at Morrison differ significantly from those in for-profit facilities at the southern border. At Morrison the staff works diligently to care for the young people in their custody, and they have the tools and services to help these children – always with a goal of getting them to a family. If nothing else, this demonstrates the need for the right resources and oversight.

Still, my visit reinforces my commitment to continue working for a humane immigration policy – one that keeps families together. As a mother, it is particularly heartbreaking to visit detained migrant children and teenagers.

Congress must be allowed to exercise its oversight role and visit the children and adults held in these federally-funded facilities. The next steps:

  1. immediately improve conditions for migrants
  2. end the family separation policy
  3. hold the Trump administration accountable for their human rights violations and breaking U.S. laws

More soon,

Suzanne

Posted on July 30, 2019.