June 22, 2018. Newark---Parents from around New Jersey are gathering in front of the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Headquarters in Newark to protest the Trump Administration’s policy of separating immigrant children from their families at the border. Led by a group of nursing mothers, these parents are urging lawmakers to put a stop to these separations and to reunite families as fast as possible.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, since May 2108 over 2,342 children have been separated from their families. These children, some young enough to still be in diapers, may never be reunited with their parents. Although President Trump just issued an executive order that could potentially bar taking children from their families, the fate of thousands of children already separated remains unknown. “Ripping terrified children from their parents causes unimaginable trauma to both children and adults,” said Allyson Murphy, a board certified lactation consultant with Laid Back Lactation and organizer of the protest. “These parents are coming to the US to take their children out of violent and possibly deadly situations. Rather than being the agents of every parents’ worst nightmare, we should be doing everything we can to help them.

In April 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions introduced the “zero tolerance policy” where any adult crossing the border illegally is referred to prosecution. Because children cannot legally be detained in processing centers for more than three days, they are sent to centers through the Office of Refugee Resettlement. New Jersey has at least one such center that is housing immigrant children, though it is unclear how many undocumented children are currently in its care.

“The executive order signed by President Trump means that children can be held indefinitely in jail-like processing centers”, said Murphy. “We call on our lawmakers from New Jersey to work to end the zero tolerance policy and to ensure that every person who enters the United States—legally or illegally, is treated with human dignity.”

For more information contact:
Allyson Murphy 908-331-0243 allyson@laidbacklactation.com
Jane Cohen 917-353-0793 janeecohen@gmail.com

Date: Friday, June 22, 2018
Time: 10 am - 11:30 am
Location: Gather at 10 in Newark, NJ, at Lincoln Park. Procession will move to 972 Broad Street, Newark, NJ