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California State Superintendent Speaks Out on Family Separation Crisis

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. – Courtesy photo / Adriel Hampton (CC BY 2.0)

Calif. State Public Instruction joins lawsuit against the Trump administration challenging its practice of refusing entry for asylum seekers

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson released a statement Friday on the Trump administration’s policy of separating families seeking asylum from human rights abuses, violence, and crime.

“I am saddened and angered by the treatment of families and young children at our southern border,” said Torlakson. “Families who come to the United States seeking economic security, new opportunities, and physical safety face great adversity and danger on their journeys. They should be greeted with understanding and compassion. Instead, immigration officials have separated families with little hope of reunification, prosecuted asylum-seekers, and detained prospective immigrants indefinitely.”

“This is cruel, inhumane, and unacceptable, and has the potential to cause irreparable harm to the children victimized by these actions. Children could face long-lasting anxiety, depression, and other forms of mental illness that could harm their performance at school and cause problems throughout their lives.”

“I am proud to join 17 other states and the District of Columbia in a lawsuit against the Trump administration challenging its practice of refusing entry for asylum seekers at our southern borders and the cruel and unlawful policy of forcibly separating families.”

“We must treat those who come to our nation seeking refuge in a compassionate way, one that reflects the values upon which this nation was built. We are a nation of immigrants that has welcomed people from all over the world. This diversity is our strength.”

“In contrast to current federal policies, California schools stand ready to welcome and serve these students and their families just as we welcome all students regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, or immigration status.”

July 3, 2018

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