Calls to end the “zero tolerance” migration policy that has resulted in the separation of migrant children and parents at the southern United States border continue to grow. Unifor supports the call to end the “zero tolerance” migration policy and urges the Canadian government to lend its voice to the condemnation of a practice that places children in danger and at serious risk of permanent and irreversible harm.

Such repressive, migration policies and practices are a violation of the rights of children and international humanitarian law. This increasingly harsh treatment of migrant families speaks to a moral failing and a loss of our shared humanity. Now is not the time to look away.

Images of terrified, crying children being torn from the arms of their parents, transported in freight cars, housed in tent cities or otherwise incarcerated, without plans for reunification, illustrates how far we have fallen, but we are not without recourse. Migration governance and respect for human rights can, and must coexist. UN member nations, including Canada, must demand that the United States immediately halt this practice of separating families and commit to migration policies that recognize international law and covenants to which the U.S. is a signatory.