ASAP is proud to support the Families Belong Together Act (H.R. 2766, S.1375), sponsored by Senator Blumenthal and Representative Castro! The Families Belong Together Act would reunite and provide immigration status to families who were separated at the Mexico-U.S. border by the U.S. government.
This legislation would not have been possible without the input from people who experienced the separation themselves, like ASAP member, Leticia Peren. Leticia, an indigenous Guatemalan mother, and her son were separated for more than two years after being separated at the border. Leticia wanted to ensure that no family experienced the pain she endured when she was separated from her son. Leticia had the following to say about the legislation:
“My son and I are deeply grateful to Senator Blumenthal and Representative Castro for listening to the voices of families that were separated at the border and for introducing this proposal to change the lives of families like ours. This legislation recognizes the pain and trauma families like ours have been through – and that we deserve the peace of mind of being able to live in the U.S. safely and together.”
As of the date of this blog post, hundreds of families are still separated. Many more are reunited, but do not yet have permanent immigration status in the U.S. Congress must take steps to reunite and give permanent legal status to these families in the U.S.
The Families Belong Together Act would do the following:
- Give humanitarian parole (a special permission to enter the U.S. legally) to parents, legal guardians, and children who were separated at the border to ensure that families can be reunited in the United States.
- Establish a process by which parents, legal guardians, and children can become lawful permanent residents (LPRs) and have a path to citizenship.
- Make sure that parents, guardians and children who were separated at the border can be eligible for state and federal benefits.
- Provide $5 million to the Department of State to ensure separated families are located and given information about safely reuniting in the United States.
- Provide $5 million to the Department of Justice to let parents and children know about the additional rights they have as families that were separated at the border.
Read Congressman Joaquin Castro’s press release about the Families Belong Together Act, which also includes a quote from ASAP member Leticia Peren.
In addition, read about all of the other ways the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP) and ASAP members are fighting family separation, protecting families, and demanding compensation from the government.