May 23, 2022

Statement: American Library Association Outraged by the Refugee Family Separation Policy

From ALA:

American Library Association (ALA) President Jim Neal released the following statement regarding the outrageous and devastating act of separating refugee children from their parents and caregivers seeking asylum along the southwest border of the U.S.

“The nation’s library community is appalled that innocent children would face such emotional trauma and would be locked in mass facilities and separated from their families,” Neal said. “There is no legitimate policy or moral basis for this unconscionable action.

“The library community stands for diversity and inclusion, and for the legal rights of refugees entering on our borders. We serve immigrants in our communities across the US, and view libraries’ support to children as one of our most important values. We must support legislation and action that set aside this unacceptable practice.

“ALA, through its Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services and Washington Office, and in partnership with REFORMA, is providing and sharing resources that support action against this zero-tolerance immigration policy.

“This dire situation transcends partisan politics and requires immediate legislative and legal strategies to abolish this practice and seek to immediately reunite children with their parents and caregivers.

“We can’t address this issue alone and ask ALA members, library supporters and educators to express their opposition to the ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy by calling their legislators and demanding the halt of this cruel practice.”

Neal continued, “I also encourage libraries of all types to explore the vast resources ALA offers to help facilitate thoughtful discussions regarding this policy and leverage charitable resources to lend support to border families in need.

“We express our sincere appreciation and stand in solidarity with those of like mind including ACLUAl Otro LadoAsylum Seeker Advocacy ProjectBorder AngelsCARA Family Detention Pro Bono ProjectImmigrant Defender’s Law Network , KIND (Kids in Need of Legal Defense)Pueblo Sin FronterasREFORMA: Children in CrisisRefugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services,  Texas Civil Rights ProjectThe Florence Project and Refugee Rights ProjectThe Leadership Conference on Civil and Human RightsThe Young Center of Children’s Immigrant Rights, and Together Rising.”

See Also: Direct to ALA Libraries Respond Page

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.