Philanthropy Northwest’s Statement on Family Separation

August 24, 2018

Earlier this year, Philanthropy Northwest committed to a journey that centers equity on the path to achieving a fairer and more just world. This journey compels both reflection and the use of our voice.

Over recent months, we have witnessed the family separation crisis at our border with sorrow and outrage. The federal government’s forcible and prolonged separation of children from their parents as these immigrant families sought refuge is an affront to the values of an equitable and just society, in which all people are treated with decency, respect and compassion.

Today, despite a court-ordered deadline having passed for the reunification of more than 2,000 families, the crisis remains ongoing. Hundreds of families remain separated, with parents and children in immigration detention without any information about the whereabouts of each other. More than 400 parents have already been deported while their children remain in U.S. custody. We know that the unimaginable fear and suffering these children have experienced will have lifelong psychological consequences. The trauma felt by these families has reached communities across the country, including in the Northwest, where some of these families have been detained.

Philanthropy Northwest envisions and promotes a society that is more prosperous, vibrant, healthy, diverse, inclusive and equitable. The fundamental right to due process must guide how we treat all people. We greatly appreciate fellow philanthropic organizations that have already spoken on this issue. We stand with these partners across our region and country in calling for the swift reunification and humane treatment of these families, and we urge others to join us.

There are many ways for philanthropy to help. Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees has invited philanthropic institutions to join a sign-on statement and has provided recommendations on funding, communications and advocacy options. Latino Community Fund of Washington has a list of national and local resources and places to direct support.