Oppose Trump administration’s “Zero Tolerance” immigration policy that separates families at U.S.-Mexico border
March 24, 2019


Whereas, the U.S. Department of Justice has adopted a “Zero Tolerance” policy toward individuals apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border, which calls for the criminal prosecution of all migrants entering the U.S. outside of ports of entry; and

Whereas, this “prosecution-first” mentality is costly, unnecessarily punitive, and is harming family units; and

Whereas, on June 19, 2018, Trump administration officials confirmed that 2,342 children have been separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border between May 5 and June 9, 2018 (an average of 65 children each day) in compliance with this policy; and

Whereas, a January 2019 report found that thousands more unreported immigrant children were separated from their families in 2017 in which inadequate records prevent these children from being returned to their families; and

Whereas, “forced family segregation” and the intentional infliction of injury to children are reprehensible and contrary to American values; and

Whereas, the Trump administration’s far-reaching “Zero Tolerance” policy which separates children and their families is threatening the moral core of our nation; and

Whereas, many of the affected families are fleeing violence in their home countries and it is inhumane to punish them for seeking asylum in the U.S.; and

Whereas, immigrants claiming refugee status have a right under U.S. law to due process; and

Whereas, the United Nations has taken a position that the “Zero Tolerance” policy violates international law; and

Whereas, although on June 20, 2018, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that stops separating families at the U.S.-Mexico border, the order does not reunite families who have already been separated, and allows for the indefinite detention of children with their parents; and

Whereas, the federal government has deemed the reunification of separated children are too costly and burdensome; and

Therefore, be it resolved, that the California Federation of Teachers urges Congress to take action immediately to ensure that the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security are prohibited from separating children from their families at the border and from the indefinite detention of children with their parents, and to immediately appropriate the necessary funds to unify those children who have been separated with their parent(s); and

Be it further resolved, that the CFT forward a copy of this resolution to the AFT Convention, President Trump, acting U.S. Attorney General Mathew Whitaker, and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

  • Passed as Resolution 26 by CFT Convention on March 24, 2019
  • Submitted by the Executive Council