Statement: American Library Association Outraged by the Refugee Family Separation Policy
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 ACLU, Al Otro Lado, Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project, Border Angels, CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project, Immigrant Defender’s Law Network , KIND (Kids in Need of Legal Defense), Pueblo Sin Fronteras, REFORMA: Children in Crisis, Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, Texas Civil Rights Project, The Florence Project and Refugee Rights Project, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, The Young Center of Children’s Immigrant Rights, and Together Rising.”
See Also: Direct to ALA Libraries Respond Page
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.