450+ Faith Leaders Call on Congress to Right the Wrongs of Family Separation

August 1, 2022

Group urges leaders to fund services for families healing from the trauma of separation. 

Washington, D.C.—Today, more than 100 faith organizations, along with 250 faith leaders and 100 constituents sent a letter to congressional leaders, urging them to right the wrongs of the family separation policy that was used throughout 2017 and 2018 at the U.S.-Mexico border. The impact of this policy is still felt today, as thousands of families remain separated, and many others deal with the aftermath of trauma while being unable to access basic services such as case management and sustained mental healthcare. In the letter, members of the faith community ask Congress to utilize funding to take accountability for the harm caused and provide families with the care they need to heal and thrive. 

“We urge Congress to authorize and fund the support and stability these families need to heal. In its Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 funding bill, congressional appropriators should ensure that the Office of Refugee Resettlement has the statutory authority to use funds at its disposal and additional funds to provide basic services — including behavioral health, legal counsel, family case management, and mental health care services — to families who were separated, particularly those here under parole.”

The letter illustrates that faith communities across the country recognize not only the harm caused by family separation, but also the need for the U.S. government to take responsibility for its role in inflicting this trauma by aiding in the healing process for impacted families. Moreover, the group’s call for increased funding for the Office of Refugee Resettlement emphasizes that faith leaders and their communities value our nation’s resettlement program and its ability to welcome the stranger. 

The leaders closed their letter with the following call to congressional leaders:

“No matter where someone came from or how they arrived in the United States, their lives are of value, and they should be treated with dignity and respect. Now, we urge Congress and the administration to do more to heal those harmed by family separation. Without additional services, many families cannot and will not be successfully reunited.” 

For more information, please visit cwsglobal.org