WASHINGTON — As the U.S. and countries around the globe commemorate World Refugee Day to recognize the strength, courage, and perseverance of refugees, Kathy Ko Chin, president and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) issued the following statement:

“We at APIAHF unequivocally condemn the Trump Administration’s policies that are breaking up refugee and immigrant families, including forcibly separating children from parents along the border, launching raids around the country, removing temporary protected status, and contemplating changing policies such as public charge – all of which are designed to create fear where immigrant families live, learn, work and worship. Threatening families, particularly by separating them, creates toxic stress that can damage children’s health across the lifespan. This will have lifelong impacts. We need to keep immigrant families together, respecting the dignity and humanity that all people deserve. Today’s executive order does nothing to uphold such family values.”

The Administration’s policies focus on immigration enforcement and restricting legal immigration leading to heightened fear and uncertainty. This negatively impacts the physical, mental, and behavioral health of immigrant children, parents, and families – many of whom are seeking refuge from violence and persecution.

The Administration needs to immediately stop the policy of “zero-tolerance” that is creating this crisis. Today’s executive order is not the solution. APIAHF stands with refugees, immigrants, and allies around the country. We will not remain silent while families and communities are torn apart.