At the State of the Union Address Tuesday, Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley plans to send a message on immigration policy--specifically the practice of child separation. Merkley will bring two guests, a mother and daughter, who were separated at the southern border in spring of 2018.
During the president’s address, Merkley will host asylum seekers Albertina Contreras Teletor and her young daughter, Yakelin Garcia Contreras. They were separated for nearly two months.
Merkley says the experience of this mother and daughter and thousands of other stories of child separation should send a powerful message to Donald Trump and his administration.
“That Americans do not accept with our tax money, on our land, under our government, the abuse, the horrific abuse of children,” the democratic senator said.
Merkley, a staunch critic of the president, has made trips to Texas to inspect family detention centers and migrant child internment camps.
Merkley’s guests will be seated in the gallery for the State of the Union Address. He says Tuesday will be Yakelin’s 12th birthday.