Washington, D.C. — A woman's religious order and a group of women of all faiths are taking a stance against the Trump administration's policy of separating families by taking children into custody and sending parents to detention centers at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Adrian Dominican Sisters, based in Adrian, Michigan, called for "an immediate end to the morally reprehensible practice" in a June 11 statement.
The sisters said the policy of children being taken into government custody while their parents are sent away from them — with no way of communicating and no way of knowing when they will be reunited — indicates "the nation has lost its moral compass."
They are calling on Congress "to enact long-overdue immigration reform that enjoys broad public support and reflects American values."
More than 1,200 women of all faiths have signed a letter to U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, which also calls for an immediate end to the practice of separating families. The letter states that "many of these families seek to apply for asylum; by international law, these families should receive a fair hearing, not immediately be judged as criminals."
The letter also states that "a society is measured by how we care for the most vulnerable among us" and describes how the Trump administration's policy, instead of comforting the vulnerable children who have crossed the border, "adds to this trauma by ripping these children away from their families."
Ravina Shamdasani, a spokesperson for the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, also condemned the Trump administration's policy, saying in a June 5 briefing in Geneva that "the use of immigration detention and family separation as a deterrent runs counter to human rights standards and principles," The Associated Press reported.
"There is nothing normal about detaining children," she said.