United and American Airlines just defied Trump and threw a major wrench in his “baby jail” operation


America faces a historic moral crossroad. Either this nation stands up to Trump or closes its collective eyes as the president kidnaps the children of undocumented children, separates them from their family, and throws them in concentration camps. There is no guaranteed success to the former, but the latter represents such a grave descent into pure evil that we may never recover from it. The choice is clear.

Thankfully, the majority of this country isn’t heartless enough to simply turn a blind eye to Trump’s war on immigrant children. Outrage is building, Democratic politicians have come out strongly against the policy and are pushing legislation to end it, and Republicans are starting to feel the heat. The key now is to not relent until these child concentration camps and baby jails are shut down.

Pressure must be exerted from every angle, and now those who wish to end these atrocities have been joined by powerful allies. American Airlines has released a statement asking the federal government not to use their planes to transport children who have been separated from their families.

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In it, they state that the family separation policy isn’t aligned with their values and that they seek to “bring families together, not apart.” They concede that they have federal contracts that provide travel for government purposes, but that the government doesn’t disclose the details of who is flying and why.

“While we have carried refugees for non-profits and the government, many of whom are being reunited with family or friends, we have no knowledge that the federal government has used American to transport children who have been separated from their parents due to the recent immigration policy, but we would be extremely disappointed to learn that is the case,” the statement continues.

“We have therefore requested the federal government to immediately refrain from using American for the purpose of transporting children who have been separated from their families due to the current immigration policy,” the statement read.

“We have no desire to be associated with separating families, or worse, to profit from it. We have every expectation the government will comply with our request and we thank them for doing so.”

United Airlines has also joined the pushback against the family separation policy and they too released a statement saying they don’t believe that their planes have been used to shuttle migrant children to their imprisonment. They have reached out to federal officials and told them not to use their planes for this purpose in the future.

“Airlines, we have been concerned about reports that commercial airlines have been used to transport immigrant children separated from their parents by a newly implemented immigration enforcement policy. Based on some research we have done internally and public reports, we have not seen evidence these children have been flown on United aircraft. Based on our serious concerns about this policy and how it’s in deep conflict with our company’s values, we have contacted federal officials to inform them that they should not transport immigrant children on United aircraft who have been separated from their parents. Our company’s shared purpose is to connect people and unite the world. This policy and its impact on thousands of children is in deep conflict with that mission and we want no part of it.”

It’s unclear if these measures will have any tangible effect on Trump’s massive, child abuse operation, but the message being sent is still important. Each company and person that comes out against these policies pushes the scale a little closer towards justice. Hopefully, we will soon reach the tipping point.


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Robert Haffey

Robert Haffey is a political writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.