Skip to content

Philanthropic leaders respond to family separation and detention policies

Opportunity Fund

Sixty-five foundation and nonprofit leaders, including Kresge Foundation President and CEO Rip Rapson, signed a joint statement critical of the family separations and indefinite detentions prompted by the recently adopted “zero tolerance” policy for immigrants on the southern border. The statement, issued by Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, calls on fellow nonprofits to speak out against the policy and support efforts to help immigrants caught up in detentions and separations.

The federal government’s zero-tolerance policy “is the latest in a series of actions over the past year-and-a-half that have altered how we treat migrants seeking refuge at our borders and reversed our historical role as a beacon of hope and freedom for the world’s most vulnerable people,” according to the statement.

Calling the separation of children and parents in detention a “crisis of sorrow,” the statement notes that organizations including the American Bar Association, American Psychological Association and American Academy of Pediatrics have condemned the separations as “inhumane,” “needless and cruel” and a health threat to those caught up in the detention system.

“We … stand united in our belief that separating families, as well as detaining them together indefinitely, is morally unacceptable and traumatic for parents and children,” the statement reads. “We urge our grantmaking colleagues to join us in speaking out, shifting the public discourse locally and nationally, boldly taking action, and responding generously and swiftly to on-the-ground needs.”