Malala Calls Trump's Family Separation Policy 'Cruel' and 'Inhumane'
The Nobel Prize winner criticized the policy during a visit to Rio de Janeiro.
In recent weeks, many world leaders and influential figures have spoken out against the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrants families at the US-Mexico border. Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai added her voice to the chorus of dissenters on Wednesday.
“This is cruel, this is unfair, and this is inhumane,” she told Reuters. “I don’t know how anyone could do that.”
The 21-year-old, who celebrates her birthday today, was visiting Rio de Janeiro to celebrate the expansion of her organization’s work into Latin America, starting with programs in Brazil. Malala has been a vocal champion for education, in particular for girls around the world, both in a personal capacity and through the Malala Fund.
“I hope that the children can be together with their parents,” she told Reuters.
Proud to announce we're investing in girls' education in Brazil. More than 1.5 million girls are out of school in this country - and they deserve the chance to choose their own future. https://t.co/9iEHIg8Xp5— Malala (@Malala) July 11, 2018
More than 2,300 children were separated from their parents between April and May as a result of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy on prosecuting illegal immigration. The majority of families trying to cross the border say they are fleeing gang and domestic violence rampant in Central America, many hope to be granted asylum in the US.
In June, a federal judge ordered the government to reunite families, setting a deadline of 30 days for all, with a priority deadline to reunite children under the age of 5 with their parents by July 10, which the government missed this week.
As of Thursday morning, just 57 of the 104 children under the age of 5 had been returned to their families, according to officials. Authorities have deemed dozens of children ineligible to be returned to their parents because they had criminal records or had already been deported, The New York Times reported. The government must still reunite hundreds of children over the age of 5 with their parents within the next two weeks.