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Trump Executive Order Cannot Hide Immoral Crisis of Criminalization of Migration

Washington – Today, Donald Trump signed an executive order that will detain families together creating internment camps. Advancement Project’s national office, a racial justice organization, released the following statement.

“With Trump’s new executive order, the administration is zealously expanding Operation Streamline by prosecuting every person entering the U.S. between ports of entry, including families with children,” said Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director of Advancement Project’s national office. “With Trump’s new executive order, the problem is about to worsen.”

The order directs Attorney General Jeff Sessions to ‘promptly file’ a modification of the Flores Settlement to detain families during the pendency of the criminal proceedings for improper entry or any removal or other immigration proceedings. The Flores Settlement is supposed to provide minimal standards for detention of children with principles of family unity and in the least restrictive setting. This order undermines the best interest of the child, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and shocks the conscience.

“People will still be caged in conditions that are detrimental to families and children,” added Browne Dianis. “But this is not new. The same culture of imprisonment and over-criminalization that brought us baby jails has been ensnaring immigrants and other people of color in the injustice system for centuries. Our system of immigration has always been driven by racist motives – now it’s being used to effectuate a racial purge. It’s also driven by profit motives, as privately run detention centers line their pockets at the expense of people seeking safety in the US.  The calls for change from movements and allies must only intensify if we are to rid the country of over-incarceration once and for all. We must end the criminalization of migration.”

“There is no acknowledgment of the trauma that will be exacerbated by this prolonged detention in makeshift shelters because the prisons have not been built to hold the thousands of people that will be imprisoned because of this,” said Losmin Jimenez, Project Director and Senior Attorney for Immigrant Justice at Advancement Project’s national office.

Trump’s new executive order would lead to the imprisonment of immigrant families for years to come. Advancement Project will continue to bring light to immigrant justice issues in our daily work and on-the-ground partnerships with groups advocating for equal rights, human rights and for an end to the criminalization of immigrants and people of color.


Advancement Project is a multi-racial civil rights organization. Founded by a team of veteran civil rights lawyers in 1999, Advancement Project was created to develop and inspire community-based solutions based on the same high-quality legal analysis and public education campaigns that produced the landmark civil rights victories of earlier eras.


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