June 22, 2018

Los Angeles, CA - Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund), issued the following statement today in response to the Trump administration’s actions relating to the separation of families at the border this week:

“Like a modern-day version of the vain and foolish emperor who parades without clothing before his people in Hans Christian Andersen's famous fairy tale, Donald Trump seems to believe this week's executive order will fool voters into thinking that he has actually ended the violent and inhumane national embarrassment in his atrocious actions toward innocent immigrant children.

“However, like the child in the fairy tale, many have already publicly pointed out to Trump that his posterior is still showing. The only ones fooled or cowed from speaking truth – like the insecure and ridiculous sycophants in Andersen's story – seem to be the usual lockstep-marching, Trump-approving pundits and the feckless leaders of the congressional majority.

“The fact is that this week’s executive order doubles down on the inhumanity of the heart-rending scenes seen in recent weeks. The administration has already, without perceptible legal basis, sought to modify a federal court order so that the government may pursue even lengthier caging of minor children. The aim of the executive order seems to be to create a network of inappropriate detention facilities to imprison whole families indefinitely.

“In other words, this week's executive order simply adds cynical arrogance to continuing atrocity, all still being done in the name of the United States.

“Like the swindlers in Andersen’s story, Jeff Sessions and Steven Miller should be driven out of Trumpdom. The architects of ‘zero tolerance’ and the punitive detention of migrants seeking asylum, these con men should resign in shame.

“The American people deserve – and will surely demand – so much better.

“Stop this deplorable charade and put some real clothes on, Mr. Trump.”

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "Latino Legal Voice for Civil Rights in America" MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit:

Copyright 2009 MALDEF, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund