Experts expose danger of Trump’s family separation policy

Call on Walker to withdraw Wisconsin National Guard Troops

MADISON – Today, child advocates, immigration specialists, health care providers, and members of the religious community condemned President Trump’s policy of separating migrant children from their families and Governor Walker’s recent decision to send Wisconsin National Guard Members to the border.

“Children are being held in literal cages as a result of President Trump’s zero tolerance policy,” said Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa (D-Milwaukee). “And Governor Walker is complicit in this tragedy. Rather than using his office and relationship with the president to fight for children who don’t know when they will see their families again, Governor Walker is sending National Guard Troops to the border and dodging any questions.”

“As an immigrant originally from El Salvador, I am acutely aware of what sacrifices these parents and families are making,” stated Karen Menéndez Coller, the Executive Director of Centro Hispano of Dane County. “Immigration is never a choice. It is not a choice to leave your culture and your network for uncertainty and the unknown. What would you do in the same situation? We must be smarter about understanding each other, our histories, and our distinct narratives.”

“If we take trauma seriously here in Wisconsin, then we cannot turn a blind eye to the child abuse that is being perpetrated by our nation’s leaders,” said Ken Taylor, Executive Director of Kids Forward. “No child should be ripped from the arms of their parent, no child should be left in a cage alone and scared, and no child should be used as a pawn in a political game. Families belong together.”

“When stressors become like a bear is attacking you every day for your whole life, your brain changes,” stated Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, a pediatrician and Vice President of the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “These kids are constantly living in fear and danger, and do not know who is going to comfort them. Their brains are starting to be wired for survival, and that’s very difficult to undo.”

“This is not a political issue,” said Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison). “This is a moral issue. President Trump has the power to immediately end this barbaric policy and Governor Walker has the power to signal Wisconsin’s opposition to this policy by withdrawing the Wisconsin National Guard from the border.”

Democratic lawmakers called on their Republican colleagues to join them in opposing this policy and await the response from Governor Walker to a letter sent yesterday asking for Wisconsin National Guard Troops to be withdrawn.