Family Equality Condemns Trump Administration Practice of Family Separation Due to HIV Status

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Family Equality condemns the practice of separating children from their parents because of a parent’s HIV positive status, a Customs and Border Patrol practice that was revealed in reporting earlier this month and confirmed by Brian Hastings, chief of Customs & Border Patrol, during a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on Thursday July 25.

Representative Jamie Raskin (D–MD) asked Hastings if a mother or father having HIV positive status “is alone enough to justify separation from their child” and Hastings affirmed that it would be, referring to HIV as a “communicable disease.” Raskin followed-up, asking whether a child would be separated from their parent because the parent has the flu, and Hastings replied that CBP would not separate a family for that reason alone.

“HIV has not been considered a communicable disease since 2010, and we condemn this effort by the Trump Administration to further target migrant families, this time using HIV status as a tactic,” said The Rev. Stan J. Sloan, CEO of Family Equality. “To separate children from their parents because of their HIV status reflects a deep misunderstanding of public health, and does irreparable damage to children and families.”

About Family Equality

Family Equality advances legal and lived equality for LGBTQ families, and for those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change. Family Equality believes every LGBTQ person should have the right and opportunity to form and sustain a loving family, regardless of who they are or where they live. Learn more at familyequality.org.

# # #

Media Contact:
Ed Harris, Chief Communications Officer, Family Equality Council
646-880-3005 x117  / eharris@familyequality.org