Martin Luther King III Urges Trump Administration to Reunite Separated Immigrants
On the 55th anniversary of his father’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Martin Luther King III has urged the Trump administration to reunite immigrant families separated under Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration policy.
Speaking in the company of his wife and daughter, King urged the Trump administration to be more humane in the way they treat refugees and immigrants. King made the statement at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying it was a call to the conscience of the current administration. He cited his father’s famous speech as a model of civil rights that all Americans must benefit from, recalling that his father established dialogue and nonviolence in dealing with all issues, and allowed no walls to exist betweens any class of people.
“A Great Democracy Does Not Bully the Most Vulnerable”
“The unfair and unjust treatment of innocent immigrant men, women and children through legal pretense violates the principles enumerated in the dream speech which we commemorate today,” King stated.
Speaking to about 200 people at the event, King lamented that the current administration has brought separation to more than 3,000 immigrant families at the same border post.
President Trump has ordered that the separated immigrant children be reunited with their parents, but the harm done has brought the administration to its knees.
King disclosed that he is “shaken” about detaining children and keeping them separate from their parents at the border, adding that it “smacks of bigotry.”
“A great democracy does not bully the most vulnerable among us and it does not separate children from their parents,” King said. “We cannot rest until all of the children are reunited with their loved ones.”
Parents Already Deported for 343 Out of the 528 Children in Custody
Numerous lawsuits challenging family separations have been filed against the government, with District Judge Dana Sabraw of the Southern District of Columbia issuing an ultimatum that the government must reunite all immigrant children separated from their parents.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is representing all separated families, and Sabraw ordered the government to liaise with the agency to reunited immigrant children with deported parents.
In light of the situation, King has urged the government to issue citizenship status to eligible persons under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Under this program, immigrant children who come to the United States illegally are given citizenship status after fulfilling certain requirements as adults.
As of Thursday, August 23, the Office of Refugee Resettlement still has 528 immigrant children separated from their parents in its custody. Out of this number, 343 children have had their parents deported, while the children themselves are kept back by the United States government.