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A group of US children’s and YA writers has begun a ‘Kid Lit Says No Kids in Cages’ campaign in protest at the separation of babies and children from their families at the US-Mexico border. The writers involved include Melissa de la Cruz, Margaret Stohl and Rainbow Rowell. They issued a statement saying:
“As members of the children’s book industry who have built careers with teen and youth readers around the world, we jointly and strongly condemn the inhumane treatment of immigrant children evidenced by the United States Department of Justice in the past week. We believe that innocent children should not be separated from their parents. We believe the “Zero Tolerance” directive issued by Attorney General Jeff Sessions is cruel, immoral and outrageous. We believe the Department of Justice is engaging in practices that should be restricted to the pages of dystopian novels. We demand and expect better, and call on our readers to do the same.”
There has been worldwide shock at the pictures of children being kept behind wire fences at detention centres in Texas. President Trump has now cancelled the policy, but there remain many children who have been separated from their parents. The ‘No Kids in Cages’ campaign has now raised more than $100,000 which will be distributed to organisations such as Kinds in Need of Defence, which provides legal aid to children who enter the US immigration system alone.