Children’s magazine Highlights denounced migrant family separation in a plea for ‘human decency’

Posted at 8:01 AM, Jun 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-26 10:01:23-04

The children’s magazine, Highlights, denounced the Trump administration’s separation of migrant families in a statement posted to Twitter Tuesday. This comes after new reports revealing poor conditions at border detention facilities.

“This is not a political statement about immigration policy. This is a statement about human decency, plain and simple,” wrote CEO Kent Johnson.

The statement condemned the practice of family separation as “unconscionable” and encouraged readers and their parents to speak out. The administration’s policy conflicts with the magazine’s core belief that “children are the most important people,” Johnson wrote.

The statement also invited readers “regardless of their political leanings” to join the magazine in demanding humane treatment of children held at border detention facilities by reaching out to their representatives.

“Let our children draw strength and inspiration from our collective display of moral courage,” Johnson wrote. “They are watching.”

CNN reached out to Highlights for comment and is waiting to hear back.

Under Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, border officials had separated at least 2,800 children from their parents as of June 2018, according to data the government provided to a federal district court. As of March, 2,741 of 2,816 children had been returned to their families or relatives, the administration said.

That number may be an underestimation. Officials found at least 1,712 more children had been separated from their families before Trump’s policy went into effect in May 2018.

The findings came after US District Judge Dana Sabraw ordered Public Health Service officials in March to review more than 47,000 files dating back to July 1, 2017. Sabraw referenced a government watchdog report that claimed there could be thousands more separated families than previously reported.

As of May, officials have reviewed more than 13,000 files out of 47,000, dating back to July 1, 2017. They provide regular lists of parents and children to the ACLU attorneys as they find their names, but the Department of Health and Human Services will release an official report only after ICE analyzes their findings.