'It's cruel, it's frightening:' Wash. leaders speak out against immigration policy
SEATTLE - “It’s cruel, it’s frightening, it’s immoral.” Rep. Suzan DelBene, (D-Washington) is outraged and calling for change.
“The Trump administration calls this a 'Zero Tolerance policy.' We should have zero tolerance for hatred, for bigotry, and for separating children and tearing families apart,” said Rep. DelBene.
Immigration attorneys on Monday criticized the Trump administration’s Zero Tolerance policy that’s separating migrant families seeking asylum.
“We are having a crisis in our democratic values. We are having a crisis in our humanitarian values,” said Immigration Attorney Leti Sanchez.
White House officials have defended the immigration policy saying it is meant to prevent people from crossing the border illegally.
President Trump on Monday stood by his “Zero Tolerance” policy saying, “The United States will not be a migrant camp. We will not be a refugee-holding facility—it won’t be.”
But so many, like 18-year-old Maikol, have counted on the U.S. for help, for a new life free from violence.
He arrived in the U.S. four years ago. His mother, and three siblings fled from Honduras after gang members killed his father.
“Because I refused to join the gang, I was in danger and so was my whole family. My mother knew we had to leave,” said Maikol.
They made a dangerous two-week journey and arrived at the U.S. border.
“I was only separated from my mom two days. Those were the longest days of my life. I couldn’t tell if it was day or night,” said Maikol.
He criticizes the Trump administration’s immigration policy.
“These kids are being separated from their families at times where they need each other the most,” said Maikol.
Maiko just graduated this past Saturday from Highline High School in Burien. He'll start college at Western Washington University in the fall and one day hopes to become an immigration lawyer.
Some worry the “Zero Tolerance” policy is turning away those who need help the most— migrants seeking asylum from domestic violence.
“One of the things that happened to me was my bed was lit on fire while I was in it with my child,” said one woman, who fled from Mexico. “I thank God I was given the opportunity to stay here.”
On Monday, the King County Council voted unanimously, calling for an immediate end of the Trump administration policy that is separating migrant families.
Also, 38 rabbis across Washington State denounced the policy. An interfaith vigil will be held at Normandy United Church of Christ where leaders from different faiths will also speak out against the same policy.