Today, 136 bipartisan mayors from 34 states and the District of Columbia led by United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) President and Columbia (SC) Mayor Steve Benjamin issued a letter to the Trump Administration and Congress calling for the immediate reunification of families who were separated at the border and a permanent solution to the nation’s broken immigration system.
The letter was written in solidarity with the 18 mayors, Democrats and Republicans, who traveled to Tornillo, TX on June 21, 2018 to see firsthand the conditions there in the tent city housing several hundred unaccompanied immigrant children. Unfortunately, federal authorities denied the mayors admission to the facility. Those 18 mayors also signed the letter.
In the letter, the mayors call on the Administration to move quickly and openly to return separated children to their parents and to establish a policy of transparency that would “provide local and state leaders full access to and information regarding children separated from their parents who have been sent to their jurisdictions and regions so that they can help to make sure these children are getting the services they need.” They call on Congress to pass any legislation needed to make sure that separated children and their parents can be quickly reunited, and to include in it safeguards to ensure that family separation never again plays a part in our nation’s immigration policy. They also urged Congress to pass “bipartisan legislation that will fix our nation’s broken immigration system.”
During its 86th Annual Meeting last month, USCM unanimously adopted a resolution urging the Administration to immediately reverse the policy of separating children from their parents at the border and allow apprehended families to remain together to the extent possible.