Media Release: Presidents’ Alliance calls the Executive Order on family separations “inadequate and misdirected”

The Executive Order issued yesterday that halted the Administration’s policy to separate children from their families was needed, but is inadequate and misdirected. It does not address the thousands of children who have already been separated from their families, and, indeed, its solution will lead to the increased detention of children, bringing further harm to families crossing the border.


Chancellor Nancy Cantor, Rutgers University-Newark and Co-Chair of the Presidents’ Alliance Steering Committee, Louis Caldera, President, and Miriam Feldblum, Executive Director of the Presidents’ Alliance have released the following statements with respect to these matters.


“When we formed the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, we committed to speak with moral clarity on how immigration issues impact our students, campuses and communities, Although family separation at the border may not seem like an issue that impacts higher education, it is not one that we as educators and leaders of institutions committed to advancing human understanding and development can ignore. We are all too aware of the lifelong impacts that toxic stress can have on developing minds and bodies of the children being separated from their parents. The short and long-term impact of detention for children and families is also severe in its toll, while the harm and distress ripples through entire communities.”

-Nancy Cantor, Chancellor, Rutgers University-Newark, Co-Chair, Steering Committee of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration


“Yesterday’s Executive Order does not address the harm already inflicted on thousands of children and families, and falls far short of the level of decency we expect of a policy of our nation. Families fleeing from dangerous conditions need to be treated with dignity. As many of us know from our own family histories, the desperate actions of those who undertake perilous journeys to search for a better life for themselves and their children deserves our government’s respectful and empathetic engagement in providing for the basic human needs of the displaced, keeping families together, and working to understand and solve the challenges that are fueling such migrations. We urge both the Administration and Congress to embrace bipartisan immigration efforts that protect children and families, and uphold our values and heritage as a nation of immigrants and a land where those fleeing persecution can find refuge”


-Miriam Feldblum, Executive Director, and Louis Caldera, President, Presidents’ Alliance