Boise Mayor, council members call on Congress to end family separations along Mexican border

Posted at 6:58 PM, Jun 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-20 16:29:25-04

Boise Mayor David Bieter and members of the Boise City Council are calling on Idaho’s congressional delegation to bring an end to the Trump administration's policy separating immigrant children from their parents at the nation’s southern border.

"I know how traumatic it can be, even when it's short-lived," Boise City Council President Pro-Tem Elaine Clegg said at Tuesday's city council meeting. "I can't imagine the trauma that these children are going through, and I wholeheartedly support this resolution."

In the resolution and a letter to Idaho’s U.S. Senators and Representatives, Boise’s elected leaders called the policy “barbaric and un-American.”

"This is not the promise of our country," Council member Lisa Sanchez said.

"It is barbaric, it's a shameful betrayal of the humanitarian values on which our great country was founded," Bieter stated.

Boise leaders are urging Congress to help reverse the policy.

"It's the silence that I think more than anything is so deafening on this issue," Council President Lauren McLean said. "We need fewer people to be silent if we want to see something stopped."

According to the Department of Homeland Security, during the six-week period ending on May 31, some 2,000 children were separated from their parents or guardians at the U.S.-Mexico border. 

"When I see the children being treated as less than human, it makes me wonder what direction our country is going in and I sincerely hope it's a clearing call for the regular folks in our country to finally stand up and take a stand and speak out against this," Sanchez said.

Here is the full version of the resolution:


WHEREAS, the Department of Homeland Security has confirmed that in a six-week period, 2,000 children – an average of almost 50 per day – were separated from their parents or guardians at the U.S.–Mexico border; and  

WHEREAS, the policy of forced separation of innocent immigrant children from their parents at our southern border is barbaric and un-American; and  

WHEREAS, this policy is a betrayal of the values that our nation was founded on and undermines our standing as world leaders in the causes of justice and liberty; and   

WHEREAS, the families that are being separated are in many instances in their most desperate hour of need and are fleeing violence and oppression; and  

WHEREAS, these families deserve our kindness, not to be punished when they are seeking refuge; and  

WHEREAS, we as a city do not approve of the use of children as nothing more than a negotiating tactic in the ongoing political battle over immigration reform; and  

WHEREAS, there has been a long history of Mexican people in Idaho and in Boise.  At one point in time, the border between the U.S. and Mexico was located at what is now the border between Idaho and Nevada; and  

WHEREAS, Boise has for many years been designated as a refugee resettlement community that welcomes those fleeing war, violence and oppression, no matter where they come from; and  

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:   We call on the members of the United States House of Representatives, the United States Senate and the President of the United States to reverse this policy and to direct staff to send a letter to the members of the Idaho congressional delegation expressing our outrage and concerns.