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In a Letter and a Statehouse Demonstration, Idaho Groups Decry Trump Border Policy


The audio, uncovered and published by watchdog journalism nonprofit ProPublica earlier this month, is haunting. In it are the cries of inconsolable children who had been separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

"Well, we have an orchestra here," jokes a Border Patrol agent in the recording. "What's missing is a conductor."

The separations were part of a Trump administration crackdown on undocumented immigration into the U.S., and the release of the audio from the Customs and Immigration facility drew immediate blowback. According to The Independent, 17 states filed suit against the Trump administration over the policy, and on June 27, a federal judge in California ordered families separated by the policy to be reunited within 30 days.

Though Trump signed an executive order ending the policy, that order did not immediately reunite families.

In Idaho, numerous organizations issued a memo June 28 to the Gem State's congressional delegation urging them to help end the policy separating children from their parents, promptly reunited families separated under the policy and discontinue indefinitely detaining immigrant children.
See related PDF ID_Family_Separation_Detention_Sign_On_Letter_June_2018.pdf
"We can and must do better as a state and a country to protect the health, safety and well-being of all children and families," read the memo, which was signed by 24 nonprofits, including ACLU-Idaho, Idaho Voices for Children, Centro de Comunidad y Justicia and the Idaho Community Action Network.

Soon after news broke about the policy from the Trump White House, PODER of Idaho began organizing a demonstration to draw attention to the crisis at the border and call for change. It also calls for the defunding of Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Border Patrol. That demonstration, entitled "Families Belong Together," will take place at the Idaho Statehouse on Saturday, June 30, at noon. So far, approximately 1,300 people have said they plan to attend, and 4,100 people are interested in attending, according to a Facebook post.

"Join us in telling our leadership in Idaho and in DC that we will not stand idly by as this administration begins their campaign of genocide against immigrant and refugee families," wrote the organizers.