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Joined by Senate Democratic leaders, today Senator Murray introduced the Stop Cruelty to Migrant Children Act to bring the appalling treatment of migrant children and families under the Trump administration to an end 

Bill would end family separations at the border, strengthen health and safety protections for children and families, and provide additional guardrails and stronger standards to ensure that government funds are not used to traumatize or harm asylum seekers 

Senator Murray: “This legislation is just a step toward mitigating the harm done to these kids and holding those responsible accountable, but it’s a critical one we must take immediately before the kids in our care are even further hurt and traumatized” 

Senator Murray: “I urge all of our colleagues to join us in this effort to protect the kids in our care and I urge Senator McConnell and Republicans to stop standing by and instead act to stop these abuses… I will not stop fighting, none of us will stop fighting, until this is made right”

***VIDEO OF SENATOR MURRAY’S REMARKS AVAILABLE HERE***

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate health committee, helped lead her Democratic colleagues in introducing new legislation calling for an end to the cruel treatment of migrant children in U.S. facilities. Amid continued family separations and reports of inhumane conditions and treatment of asylum-seeking families and children at southern border facilities, Senator Murray joined her fellow Democratic leaders in the Senate at a news conference today to introduce the Stop Cruelty to Migrant Children Act. This new legislation, supported by more than three dozen Senators, would create clear, non-negotiable standards for the treatment of children in America’s care—putting an end to the Trump administration’s cruel and neglectful treatment of children at the U.S.-Mexico border, and reforming how children fleeing persecution are treated between the moment at which they arrive at our borders to claim asylum and the ultimate resolution of their asylum case.

Specifically, the new legislation would end family separations at the border, strengthen health and safety protections for children and families, and provide additional guardrails and stronger standards to ensure that government funds are not used to traumatize or harm asylum seekers. Additionally, the legislation would provide resources to non-profit centers that are helping to provide humanitarian assistance, and improve public oversight of the conditions children are being held in by allowing members of Congress and their staff, along with credentialed press (without cameras), to visit any facility with 24 hours’ notice. 

Watch Senator Murray’s remarks HERE.

A former preschool teacher, Senator Murray has been vocal and consistent in her opposition to the appalling treatment of migrant children and families under President Trump, leading multiple oversight efforts—including a June 28 letter to President Trump about the treatment of children at border facilities—to get more information regarding the status of children’s medical care, sanitary conditions, staffing levels, and more for migrant children in detention. Additionally, last year Senator Murray visited the federal detention facility in SeaTac, Washington to meet with parents that had been separated from their children and call for an end to President Trump’s needlessly cruel immigration policies.

A section-by-section breakdown of the Stop Cruelty to Migrant Children Act is available HERE and a one-pager is available HERE.

Read the full text of Senator Murray’s remarks:

“Thank you Senator Merkley, Senator Schumer, and my other colleagues here today, for your leadership on this absolutely critical issue. 

“Let me first say, as a former teacher, a mother, and as a grandmother, I am appalled by the heartbreaking reports coming from our southern border.

“Instead of being met with open arms, families who left their homes and everything they know, to escape violence and persecution, and find safety here in our country, are being degraded, dehumanized, and having their children snatched away.

“Even worse, we now know that these children, some as young as infants, who have just made the most strenuous, dangerous journey of their lives aren’t getting the care, attention, resources, or support they need and are being forced to live in unsanitary, unhealthy, and unsafe conditions no parent would accept for their child.

“And every day we’re learning new information about the absolute horrors these children are experiencing day in and day out—in these facilities, in our government’s care, on our watch.

“From neglect to physical and mental abuse, to sexual assault, and tragically, even death.

“This unconscionable humanitarian crisis on our southern border manufactured by President Trump in service of his and his administration’s hard-right, hateful, anti-immigrant agenda is a moral stain that upends our nation’s proud legacy as a bastion of hope for people around the globe—that’s been built over decades and generations.

“And even more alarming, it left thousands of kids—kids—without proper food, clothing, medical care, you name it.

“I know that I speak for my colleagues here today, and the majority of the American people, when I say that I am livid at how President Trump and his administration are mistreating children in our country’s care even as we speak and that we cannot allow them to continue to harm children and run roughshod over our shared values.

"To be clear, this legislation is just a step toward mitigating the harm done to these kids and holding those responsible accountable, but it’s a critical one we must take immediately before the kids in our care are even further hurt and traumatized.

“So, for the sake of the children, I urge all of our colleagues to join us in this effort to protect the kids in our care and I urge Senator McConnell and Republicans to stop standing by and instead act to stop these abuses.

“I will not stop fighting, none of us will stop fighting, until this is made right.  

“Thank you.”

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