Joint statement against ICE and Israeli attacks on families and children #StopICE #StopSeparatingFamilies

The following is a statement released by a coalition of Palestinian, immigrant and refugee rights organizations, led by USACBI. Organizations are invited to sign on to the statement below. To add your endorsement, please use the form or email

June 22, 2018

We, the undersigned Palestinian, immigrant and refugee rights organizations led by the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) condemn, in the strongest terms, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policies of separating minors from their families seeking refuge at U.S. borders. We recognize that these asylum seekers risk their lives on dangerous and unpredictable journeys because they are fleeing from extreme violence and desperate poverty, much of which is rooted in  decades of unlawful covert and overt U.S. intervention. U.S. practices of funding military coups, backing brutal dictators, and implementing exploitative economic policies have left nations like Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador reeling from brutal dictatorships, political instability, gang violence, drug cartels, and economic collapse.

According to a Department of Homeland Security spokesperson, 1,995 minors were separated from 1,940 adults in a mere six weeks between April 19 and May 31, 2018. On February 20, 2018, ICE separated an 18-month-old infant from his mother and in the same month removed a 4-month-old baby from his father in Texas. There are reports of a breastfeeding infant being wrested from her mother in a detention center. From October to April, 49,622 family units were apprehended.  Children separated from their parents are held in cage-like enclosures and then typically transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services, while their parents are deported.  

The United Nations condemned and called on the U.S. to halt the practice of separating families, saying it “amounts to arbitrary and unlawful interference in family life, and is a serious violation of the rights of the child.” Defending this policy as a necessary deterrent, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions suggested that such cruelty was ordained by none other than God.  He invoked Romans 13, the same biblical passage that was used to justify and sanctify slavery.

We condemn these U.S. immigration policies, which represent an escalation in a prolonged assault on migrant families, especially those coming from harsh physical and economic conditions in Central America.  We also note that the Trump administration has severely blocked the flow of Syrian refugees and banned migrants from countries suffering from horrific violence, U.S.-backed wars, and humanitarian disasters of epic proportions such as in Yemen.

The U.S. attack on migrant families is reminiscent of Israel’s treatment of indigenous Palestinians under U.S.-backed occupation and apartheid. Palestinians have experienced Israel’s routine and arbitrary detention or imprisonment of children in Palestine, and  have seen their families torn apart by Israel’s ethnic cleansing and separation policies.

As Palestinians and those who stand in support of Palestinian rights, we express solidarity with migrant families who are being torn apart by such cruel and inhumane government policies inflicted on an already vulnerable and traumatized people. We join the U.N. call on the U.S. to end all practices of separating migrant families, and we call for the protection of these families. We also call  for an end to U.S. foreign and economic policies in Central America that bear a heavy responsibility for the conditions forcing families to leave their homes in the first place.

US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI)

Academics for Palestine – Ireland
Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition  – National and NY
Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine
American Friends Service Committee, Project Voice Cambridge
American Muslims for Palestine
Ann Arbor Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East
ANSWER Coalition
Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC)
Black and Brown Workers Cooperative (BBWC)
Boycott Divestment & Sanctions – Philadelphia (Philly BDS)
Buena Vista United Methodist Church, Alameda, CA
Campus Anti-fascist Network
Charleston Democratic Socialists of America
Coalition for Civil Freedoms
Coalition for Peace with Justice – NC
Committee for Open Discussion of Zionism (CODZ)
Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CC-DS)
DC Statehood Green Party
Fighting for Immigrant Rights Everywhere (FIRE)
Free Palestine Movement
Freedom Fighters Upstate SC
Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO)
Gaza Action Ireland
Hawai’i Coalition for Justice in Palestine (HCJP)
Indivisible Midlands
International Action Center (IAC)
International Socialist Organization
International Solidarity Movement (ISM) – Northern California
Jacksonville Community Action Committee
Jacksonville Palestine Solidarity Network
Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) – National
Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) – Boston
Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) – Philadelphia
Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) – Portland
Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
La Alianza at William S. Richardson School of Law
La Raza Unida at UH Mānoa
Labor for Palestine
Muslim Youth Collective
National Lawyers Guild – International Committee
National Lawyers Guild – Los Angeles
National Lawyers Guild Queer Caucus
National Lawyers Guild San Diego
National Lawyers Guild The United People of Color Caucus (TUPOCC)
Network Against Racism & Islamophobia
NorCal Sabeel
Palestine-Israel Working Group of Nevada County (PIWG)
Palestine Solidarity Committee – Austin, TX
Palestinian Rights Committee (PRC)
Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) – USA
Party for Socialism & Liberation (PSL)
Philadelphia for Palestinian Return
Pittsburgh Palestine Solidarity Committee
Project South
Radical Sanctuary Collective, UC Davis
Radio Tahrir
Sacramento Regional Coalition for Palestinian Rights
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) – College of State Island
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) – Temple University
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) – Tufts University
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) – University of Houston
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) – University of South Carolina
U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR)
U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN)
United for Justice with Peace
University of Hawai’i Immigrant and Refugee Action Coalition (UH-IRAC)
University of Hawai’i Students and Faculty for Justice in Palestine (UH-SFJP)
Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center
Within our Lifetime – United for Palestine
Workers World Party (WWP)

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Photo credit: Joe Piette

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