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Jun 21
Thursday

Shambhala Statement on Border Separations - 4 comments

Filed under Featured Stories

from the Kalapa Council and Shambhala Office of Social Engagement

As a Shambhala community, we are watching with a sense of horror and despair as the government of the United States implements its policy of separating children from their parents at the Mexican border. As an international Buddhist community, Shambhala condemns this inhumane and brutal policy. We also recognize and condemn violence toward refugees in any part of the world. 

In April of 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions began implementing the United States “zero-tolerance” policy on immigration. Under this policy the Department of Homeland Security can refer any adult “believed to have committed any crime, including illegal entry” to the Justice Department for prosecution. Illegal entry is considered a misdemeanor and in the new policy people can be deported for misdemeanors alone. When adults are apprehended for prosecution, they are separated from their children. The children are placed in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the Department of Health and Human Services. They spend an average of 51 days in a shelter while they await placement with a sponsor in the United States. On 6/20/18 this policy was banned by executive order. We are glad that the president of the United States has made this new executive decision, but recognize that more than 2,300 children have already been separated from families, with no plans for reuniting them. The new executive order now allows children to stay with their families; however, this means children will also be placed in jail cells, and in some cases indefinitely.  Continue…

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