Statement from Councilman Daniel Valenzuela on the Mistreatment of Immigrant Children by the Federal Government

“The Center for Investigative Reporting reports, a defense contractor is detaining immigrant children in a vacant Phoenix office building. It’s unlicensed and not on any list of shelters. Last week, a year-old child drinking milk from a bottle was asked by a federal immigration judge in Phoenix if he understood his legal proceeding.

This is how our Federal Government is treating the immigrant children who are being brought to our city. We cannot stand by and allow this blatant disregard for human rights to be tolerated. Not now. Not ever.

These actions are the result of the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy on immigration. While a federal court ordered the administration to reunite children with their parents, the administration’s incompetence is creating delays and arguably intentional obstructions.

On June 28, the day First Lady Melania Trump visited immigrant children in Phoenix, I said symbolic gestures ring hollow if not supported by action. I asked for greater transparency. Today we as a city must demand it.

I support the call from some of my colleagues to have city staff inspect any unlicensed buildings housing children to ensure health and safety codes are being enforced.

Arizona’s congressional delegation must be forceful in its repudiation of the Administration.

We must take a stand. Say enough. This must stop.”


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