Family Separation, Disregard for Human Rights Mark “Complete Freefall” of Federal Government into Path of Tyranny


For Immediate Release

Family Separation, Disregard for Human Rights Mark “Complete Freefall” of Federal Government into Path of Tyranny

Sara McElmurry: 312-351-3890 or

CHICAGO—June 19, 2018—The Trump Administration today announced that it will withdraw from the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, following sharp criticism of its “Zero Tolerance” policy to separate families at the United States’ southern border. Oscar Chacón, executive director of Alianza Americas, issued the following statement in response:

“The news that the United States will withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council comes after weeks of egregious violations of human rights and international law from the United States government: The implementation, in May, of a horrific ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy that has inhumanely separated more than 2,300 children from their parents at the US-Mexico border, and, in June, the unconscionable decision from the Attorney General that disregards decades of internationally-recognized accords on asylum law.

These current actions are horrific, and represent a new low in a long and shameful history towards immigrants, asylees, refugees, and, notably, the people of Central America. From the 1930s ‘Banana Wars,’ to short-sighted policies that destabilized the region’s democratic institutions in the 1980s, to creating and exporting the MS-13 gangs that are now wreaking havoc across the region, the United States is largely responsible for the violence, poverty, and volatility that cause people to flee for their lives.

The United States for decades has been careering down a disturbing and dangerous path in Central America. Yet now, our government is in complete freefall: It is actively criminalizing—separating, numbering, and jailing—the victims of its failed actions.

The United States is ignoring its humanitarian responsibilities towards people fleeing violence and persecution. It is ignoring its long-held values as a nation that values family unity and its proud history as a safe harbor for people fleeing violence and persecution. And it is ignoring the escalating outcry—from Democrats, Republicans, and its peers in governments and civil society across the globe—to right itself from this path of wrong.

These are truly disheartening days in our nation’s history. The stripping of children from their parents’ arms, the criminalization of people seeking refuge from violence, and the wanton disregard for human rights remind us of the heinous actions of governments in Nazi Germany, fascist Europe and other dictatorial regimes. These shameful actions do not represent the will of the principled people of the United States of America, as evidenced by their response—the resistance, the outrage, the opening of hearts and wallets—to protect and support the families at our border.

Alianza Americas, representing 100,000 immigrant families across the United States, unequivocally condemns the actions of the United States government, categorically rejects the blaming of victims, and will continue to call on people of all political persuasions to resist the tyranny that has soiled our federal government and policymaking.

A parent’s efforts, no matter the cost, to safeguard the well-being of their children is above all an act of love, understood as such anywhere in the world. We continue to call for the creation of immigration policies that reflect the vastly positive economic, social and cultural impact immigrants and refugees have had in the United States of America, and respect and protect these families.”

Alianza Americas is a network of 50 immigrant-led organizations representing more
than 100,000 families across the United States. It is the only US-based organization rooted in Latino and Caribbean immigrant communities that works transnationally to create an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable way of life. Learn more at