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Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster

Representing the 2nd District of New Hampshire

Kuster Expresses Outrage at Hearing on Trump Administration’s Family Separation Policy

Feb 7, 2019
Press Release

Kuster’s opening remarks can be viewed HERE

(Washington, DC) – Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, questioned expert witnesses about the Trump Administration’s policy of family separation that led to 2,500 children being forcibly separated from their mothers and fathers. Kuster expressed her outrage at the policy and frustration with the failure of the Administration to track children and their families. Last year, Kuster toured the McAllen Border Patrol Station, the McAllen Centralized Process Center, and the Port of Isabel ICE Detention Center to observe conditions on the ground and the impact of President Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy and the separation of families.

“These children will have lifelong trauma from being separated from their parents,” said Kuster. “I’ve seen firsthand the heartbreak and fear caused by this immoral policy and have been with mothers who had their nursing infants taken from them. This is simply unconscionable. It’s unfathomable that the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services lacked a centralized system to track these children and their families. Today our Committee took an important step toward getting to the bottom of this injustice and we will continue to work to hold those responsible for this policy accountable.”

Participants in the hearing included:

•             Kathryn Larin – Director of Education Workforce and Income Security, GAO

•             Rebecca Gambler – Director of Homeland Security and Justice, GAO

•             Ann Maxwell - Assistant Inspector General for Evaluation and Inspections, HHS Office of Inspector General

•             Commander Jonathan White – United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, HHS

•             Lee Gelernt – Deputy Director, Immigrants’ Rights Project – ACLU

•             Jennifer Podkul – Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy – Kids in Need of Defense

•             Julie Linton, MD – Co-Chair, Immigrant Health Special Interest Group – American Academy of Pediatrics

•             Cristina Muniz de la Pena, PhD – Terra Firma Mental Health Director, American Psychological Association

•             Jack Shonkoff, MD - Professor of Child Health and Development and Professor of Pediatrics

•             Dona Abbott – Vice President of Refugee and Immigrant Services – Bethany Christian Services