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June 08, 2018

King, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Halt Separation of Immigrant Families

HAMPDEN, ME – Today, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) and 31 of his colleagues have introduced the Keep Families Together Act, to keep immigrant families together by preventing the Department of Homeland Security from taking children from their parents at the border.

“America cannot just live by its national values when convenient – it has to be a full-time commitment,” said Senator King. “The DHS policy that purposely separates children from their parents falls far short of our principles, and it should be stopped immediately.”

This is the second action Senator King has taken in two days to end this policy; yesterday, he joined a group of his colleagues in sending a letter urging the Administration to reverse course.

The Keep Families Together Act was developed in consultation with child welfare experts to ensure the federal government is acting in the best interest of children. The bill is supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Kids In Need of Defense (KIND), Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), Children’s Law Center and the Young Center for Immigrant Rights. To ensure the bill protects the welfare of children, it allows children to be separated from their parents only in the event they are being trafficked or abused by their parents. To provide an additional layer of protection, the bill provides for an immediate review by a superior upon the recommendation to separate, and only after consultation with a child welfare expert.

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