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NASW takes issue with President Trump's Immigration Executive Order, demands more coherent, humane policy

WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Donald Trump's new executive order that purportedly ended the administration's disastrous family separation policy is murky and does nothing to address what will happen to 2,300 immigrant children who have already been separated from their parents and put in custody. 

These children will continue to be exposed to trauma that has life altering implications. 

President Trump announced the the Affording Congress an Opportunity to Address Family Separation executive order on Thursday. It purportedly ended the administration’s family separation policy. 

Although the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) takes issue with many aspects of this executive order, we commend the many Americans who raised their voices to denounce the inhumane family separation policy. It was this outpouring of outrage and unrelenting advocacy that forced the president to issue the executive order. 

Having said that, it is telling that President Trump stated that the “Zero Tolerance” policy will not be changed. In the face of continued increases in the detention of asylum seeking families, the executive order ends a policy of family separation only to become a policy of indefinite detention for the entire family. It goes without saying that children belong with their families in safe communities, not in cages or in jails. 

We agree with the statement by the House and Senate Minority Leaders: “It seems that the administration lacks a plan, intention, and sense of urgency to begin reuniting these children - many of whom have suffered serious emotional anguish- with their parents.” 

NASW calls on the administration to clarify its questionable executive order and present the American people with a coherent policy that humanely keeps asylum seeking families intact while their cases are adjudicated. 

We also take the position that - for the children detained prior to the executive order - the only policy needed is for the government to immediately implement a comprehensive plan to reunify them with their families.

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.