Press Release

Democracy Fund, Humanity United, and Omidyar Network Denounce U.S. Family Separation Policy

Democracy Fund
June 1, 2018

In response to the U.S. government’s policy separating parents and children seeking asylum, Democracy Fund, Omidyar Network’s Governance and Citizen Engagement initiative, and Humanity United released the following statement. The organizations are part of the Omidyar Group, a diverse collection of companies, organizations, and initiatives, each guided by its own approach, but all united by a common desire to catalyze social impact, founded by Pierre and Pam Omidyar.

As three organizations working for change, we stand for upholding the United States’ long-standing commitment to fundamental human rights and protecting the most vulnerable.

The U.S. action separating families fleeing persecution and exploitation at the border is an affront to human dignity—theirs and ours. We believe that forcibly separating mothers and fathers from their children is inhumane.

The United States is a powerful symbol of acceptance for the marginalized, of safety for those fleeing persecution, and of hope for those inspired by the democratic ideals cherished by its people. The U.S. leads the world by example, and when we fail to act with dignity and decency, others take note.

“The families fleeing to our country have often endured the unthinkable and deserve the best of America: kindness, respect, and protection. What we are instead seeing is a response that dehumanizes and traumatizes these children and their parents. This policy turns children into pawns and statistics, when they are kids just like our own—who love and need their families. The U.S. must not fail its basic responsibility to protect children from being exploited, trafficked, and persecuted. We must be better than that,” said Randy Newcomb, President and CEO of Humanity United.

“Breaking up migrant families isn’t just an immigration and humanitarian crisis, it undermines the democratic norms that our country was founded on. All people, regardless of where they’re from, deserve to be treated with dignity,” said Joe Goldman, President of Democracy Fund. “It is essential that all of us – from elected leaders to civil society and citizens – stand up to protect the intrinsic value and basic rights of all people.”

“The emotionally and physically damaging practice of separating young children from parents is abhorrent. The U.S. response to families seeking asylum and refuge further traumatizes families and impedes access to a fair process for seeking asylum. These policies do not advance American democracy or values,” said Stephen King, Omidyar Network partner, and global lead for its Governance and Citizen Engagement initiative.