[Congressional Record Volume 164, Number 104 (Thursday, June 21, 2018)]
[Pages H5488-H5489]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                      CHILDREN HEADED TO MICHIGAN

  (Ms. KAPTUR asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 
minute and to revise and extend her remarks.)
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Speaker, yesterday's Detroit Free Press reported that 
two babies were taken by the Department of Homeland Security from their 
parents at the U.S.-Mexico border and flown in the dead of night last 
night to Grand Rapids, Michigan--one child is 8 months old, and another 
11 months old--hundreds and hundreds of miles from home.
  Fifty more immigrant children have landed in foster care by 
spontaneous combustion in western Michigan. A staffer at Bethany 
Christian Services, which is assisting these displaced children said: 
``Not only are they being separated from their family, they are being 
transported to a place that they don't know in the middle of the 
  Mr. Speaker, taking children from parents presents a deep moral 
crisis for our Nation. The abduction of children from their parents is 
a crime against humanity. The Trump administration's kidnapping of 
children must end.
  Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record this important article from the 
Detroit Free Press entitled ``Torn from Immigrant Parents, 8-Month-Old 
Baby Lands in Michigan.''

                [From Detroit Free Press, June 20, 2018]

    Torn From Immigrant Parents, 8-Month-Old Baby Lands in Michigan

                           (By Tresa Baldas)

       Four days ago, a Homeland Security official proclaimed: 
     ``We are not separating babies from parents.''
       Yet in the middle of the night, two baby boys arrived in 
     Grand Rapids after being separated from their immigrant 
     parents at the southern border weeks ago.
       One child is 8 months old; the other is 11 months old. Both 
     children have become part of a bigger group of 50 immigrant 
     children who have landed in foster care in western Michigan 
     under the Trump administration's zero-tolerance border 
       The average age of these children is 8, a number that has 
     alarmed foster care employees who are struggling to comfort 
     the growing group of kids who are turning up in Michigan at 
     nighttime, when it's pitch-dark outside. They're younger than 
     ever, they say. And they are petrified.
       ``These kids are arriving between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Not 
     only are they being separated from their family, they are 
     being transported to a place that they don't know in the 
     middle of the night,'' said Hannah Mills, program supervisor 
     for the transitional foster care program at Bethany Christian 
     Services, which is currently assisting the displaced 
     children. ``We have found on many occasions that no one has 
     explained to these children where they are going.''
       According to Mills, some of these displaced children got 
     picked up right at the airport by a foster family, while 
     others wound up at a foster care center, begging to talk to 
     their parents. Many have gone 30 days or more without talking 
     to their parents because their parents can't be located, she 
       Bianey Reyes, center, and others protest the separation of 
     children from their parents in front of the El Paso 
     Processing Center, an immigration detention facility, at the 
     Mexican border on June 19, 2018, in El Paso, Texas. (Photo: 
     Joe Raedle, Getty Images)
       ``These kids are hysterical. They're screaming out for mom 
     and dad,'' said Mills, who speaks Spanish and can converse 
     with the children, noting only a handful have learned some 
       Mills, who has worked with displaced, immigrant children 
     for six years, said the foster agency is dealing with a new, 
     troubling element: Getting unaccompanied children on the 
     phone with their parents. Typically, this takes about three 
     days, she said. But now it's taking up to a month or more 
     because the parents are detained and the agency can't locate 
       ``That's probably one of the most detrimental things,'' 
     Mills said. ``At least if we can get a kid to speak with 
     their parent, they can feel safe.''
       Equally upsetting, Mills said, is watching children when 
     they do finally get on the phone with a parent. For example, 
     she recalled, a tearful 7-year-old on the phone with her 
     mother asking her, `Are you OK? Are you hurt? Is someone 
     hurting you?'
       ``All of it is incredibly upsetting,'' Mills said, 
     stressing: ``The difference is, we're seeing so many more 
     younger kids.''
       Homeland Security officials were not available for comment 
     on why infants and toddlers are being taken from their 
       Meanwhile, the Trump administration has steadfastly 
     maintained that its goal is to protect the nation's borders, 
     enforce immigration laws and send a strong message to

[[Page H5489]]

     immigrants that if they cross the border unlawfully, they 
     will be prosecuted and their kids taken away.
       There is no federal law that mandates children and parents 
     be separated at the border, though the practice has led to 
     nearly 2,000 kids being misplaced in the past six weeks--a 
     phenomenon that has triggered a firestorm of controversy. 
     Many religious groups, social activists and immigrant-
     sympathizers are calling for an end to the practice while 
     Trump supporters are saying let him do his job.
       On Tuesday, the Michigan Department of Civil Rights 
     announced that it's assessing the impact of Trump's zero-
     tolerance policy on the state of Michigan and the detained 
     immigrant children, stating it ``has a duty to make sure 
     their civil rights are protected.''
       ``We have received reports and are very concerned that the 
     children arriving here are much younger than those who have 
     been transported here in the past. Some of the children are 
     infants as young as 3 months of age and are completely unable 
     to advocate for themselves,'' Agustin V. Arbulu, Executive 
     Director of Michigan Department of Civil Rights said in a 
       The American Association for Justice also condemned the 
     family separation policy on Tuesday, stating: ``These actions 
     are risking the safety and well-being of innocent children. 
     We call on the administration to immediately halt this 
     practice and to reunite these traumatized families. This is 
     not who we are as a nation. We can and must do better.''
       But the Trump administration is not backing down, stressing 
     the policy is about preserving and protecting America's 
     borders and upholding the law. Moreover, it insists, the 
     policy is not new, claiming children have long been placed in 
     foster care when their parents were criminally charged with 
     an immigration violation.
       ``What has changed is that we no longer exempt entire 
     classes of people who break the law,'' Homeland Security 
     Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a White House briefing 
     Monday. ``Here is the bottom line: DHS is no longer ignoring 
     the law.''
       She later added: ``We are a country of compassion. We are a 
     country of heart. . . . We must fix the system so that those 
     who truly need asylum can in fact receive it.''
       President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans 
     desperately searched Tuesday for an end game to the 
     administration's contentious zero-tolerance immigration 
     policy that has drawn fire from lawmakers on both sides of 
     the aisle.
       Trump said Tuesday he wants the legal authority to detain 
     the children along with the adults and ``promptly remove 
     families together as a unit.''

  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Speaker, I remind my colleagues of the words at the 
base of the Statue of Liberty by Emma Lazarus:

     Give me your tired, your poor,
     Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
     The wretched refuge of your teeming shore.
     Send these, the homeless tempest-tost to me,
     I lift my lamp besides the golden door.

  That is the America that I know. That is the America of liberty for 

                            The New Colossus

                           (By Emma Lazarus)

     Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
     With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
     Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
     A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
     Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
     Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
     Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
     The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
     ``Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!'' cries she
     With silent lips. ``Give me your tired, your poor,
     Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
     The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
     Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
     I lift my lamp beside the golden door!''