Airlines Refuse To Transport Immigrant Children

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American Airlines has issued a statement asking the U.S. government to “refrain from using American for the purpose of transporting children who have been separated from their families due to the current immigration policy” on Wednesday. United and Frontier have taken similar positions. Whether they can legally prevent the government from using their services in such a way is uncertain.

All three airlines stated that they are not aware that their aircraft have been used to transport immigrant children separated from their families, but that the new immigration policy conflicts with their companies’ values. “We have no desire to be associated with separating families, or worse, to profit from it,” the statement from American said. “We have every expectation the government will comply with our request and we thank them for doing so.”

Tyler Houlton, a spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), said via Twitter that the airlines’ decision not to partner with DHS was “unfortunate.” He added that “Despite being provided facts on this issue, these airlines clearly do not understand our immigration laws and the long-standing devastating loopholes that have caused the crisis at our southern border.”

The immigration policy in question, which was announced in April, emphasizes “zero tolerance” for illegal immigration, resulting in the referral of 100 percent of illegal border crossing cases to the Department of Justice for prosecution. It has been estimated that more than 2,000 children have been separated from their families under the policy. The President signed an Executive Order on Wednesday that he says is aimed at curtailing the separation of families while still maintaining a “very strong border.” 

Comments (14)

Illegals are illegal.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | June 20, 2018 8:11 PM    Report this comment

No sympathy at all for those crossing the border illegally. I tell my wife that if she or anyone else who complains about the prosecution of those crossing illegally knew about what the customs requirements are that I have to follow as a charter pilot crossing any US border and the penalties for violating those requirements are, maybe those who complain would have a better understanding of the situation the Border Patrol is in. It is about time the rules are enforced equally to everyone, not just the minority who actually follow the customs regulations. I hope Mr. Sessions sticks to enforcing those rules equally, most of which where passed by a Democrat majority Congress.

Posted by: matthew wagner | June 20, 2018 8:56 PM    Report this comment

So now airlines have "immigration" policies? What's next - airline "defense policies," whereunder they will refuse to transport troops who are deploying to "unjust wars?"
BTW, anyone who enters a country without authorization is NOT "an immigrant." S/he is an INVADER.
And just to be clear, if you get caught robbing a bank, what do you suppose will happen to your children, who you left waiting in your getaway car? Do you really expect that they're going to bunk with you, while you await trial?
Trump Derangement Syndrome belongs in the DSM. And, no - comments like this are NOT "off-topic." They ARE the topic.

Posted by: YARS (Tom Yarsley) | June 21, 2018 8:30 AM    Report this comment

I'm not surprised, nor do I have a problem with their refusal. The airlines are a business, and the policy was unpopular with enough potential (and current) customers that it could easily impact their bottom lines. Unless people want to nationalize the airlines, commandeering private property, the government will have to figure something else out.

As a side note: Comparing a misdemeanor like illegal entry to the US (8 U.S.C.A. S 1325) to a violent felony like bank robbery (18 U.S.C.A. S 103) is a bit disingenuous. That's like me saying people who get tickets for "mutilating" money (18 U.S.C.A. S 333) should have their kids taken away immediately.

Posted by: Joe Servov | June 21, 2018 3:01 PM    Report this comment

Second and subsequent unlawful entries are felonies. One's opinion of the severity of a felony does not alter its penalties.
These criminals should be deported. They can take their kids with them. Problem solved.

Posted by: YARS (Tom Yarsley) | June 21, 2018 3:22 PM    Report this comment

First off, you seem to have with private property rights of the airlines.

Second off, assuming facts not in evidence unless you can prove each individual subjected to this policy was on their second/subsequent entry.

Even so, I eagerly await both your justification for commandeering privately held property for this endeavor, and proof of second/subsequent entry for all those separated.

I also eagerly await your approval for the same steps (including the separation of children in the exact same manner) of the former policy being applied to all Class E felonies, for example those charged with violating (26 U.S.C.A. S 7201) which has a maximum sentence of 5 years, which is more than (per Section 8 U.S.C.A. S 1325, 1326, and/or I.N.A. S 275, S 276) 2 years. They're both Class E non-violent felonies, so it's all good, right?

Again, the use of a violent Class C federal felony (with a possible 20 year sentence) as a comparison was disingenuous.

Posted by: Joe Servov | June 21, 2018 3:51 PM    Report this comment

I'm a lot of things, but disingenuous isn't one of them.
I don't recall questioning the airlines' rights to do something stupid - just the propriety of their actions. Seizing private property? Where did THAT come from?
I'm in favor of ALL nations' sovereign rights - and duties - to repel and EXPEL invaders. I hope that's free of all ambiguity and disingenuineness.
Want to visit the United States? Great! Apply for a visa. Otherwise, expect to be treated like the law-breaking invader that you are.

Posted by: YARS (Tom Yarsley) | June 21, 2018 4:04 PM    Report this comment

You seem to have a problem with the airlines, which are private entities, refusing service which is their right. I don't know why this should even be a question, To me it's similar to those people who get irritated that they can't carry a firearm into starschmucks. I would just leave my FN in the car, if I cared to get starschmucks coffee.

Comparing a Class B misdemeanor (or Class E felony for second/subsequent reentry) to a violent Class C felony is disingenuous to say the least. That's like comparing a kid shoplifting from the grocery store to someone committing armed robbery, it's wrong and it is disingenuous to put it politely.

You also seem to be dodging the question of treating people committing nonviolent felonies in the same manner. I was slightly wrong however, people charged with violating (26 U.S.C.A. S 7201) are not in the same class as people charged with second/subsequent reentry. They are charged with a higher (Class D) felony than those making second/subsequent (Class E) felony reentry. Those facing Class D felonies have the potential of both higher prison sentences and fines. I think that means you would support similar treatment (including the forced separation of children) of those charged (remember, charged not convicted yet) with a higher class non-violent felony.

Posted by: Joe Servov | June 21, 2018 4:44 PM    Report this comment

I have no problem with arresting and jailing anyone who breaks ANY federal law - no "question-dodging" or "disingenuineness" there. The consequent "separation" of minor children from the criminal "parents" is on the criminal offenders - not on the law-enforcement agencies. Kids don't get to go to jail with their "parents" - period.
My "problem" with the airlines is that I consider it foolish - if not downright stupid - for a common-carrier business to take a public stance that "we don't want your business, because you're immoral." Didn't SCOTUS just have to opine on the first amendment implications of refusing to bake a wedding cake? Is this what we've decayed to as a nation? Really?

Posted by: YARS (Tom Yarsley) | June 21, 2018 5:26 PM    Report this comment

Invader definition, 'to enter forcefully as an enemy; go into with hostile intent:'
'Is this what we've decayed to as a nation? Really?' Calling them invaders?

You ain't special, neither am I, and neither is our disgusting, fearful leader. And try to convince me fear isn't the source of anger - I do need a belly laugh today.

Close off your heart, close off your borders. All in the name of law-breaking? Yeah, right. This recent uprising to howl 'it's the law'! is nothing more than a transparent mechanism for too many to show their fear through racism and intolerance.

Only the deluded are fooled.

Posted by: Dave Miller | June 21, 2018 8:04 PM    Report this comment

Tom, I'm so glad to hear that you do not hold a double standard. The instant someone is arrested for a federal misdemeanor, or felony, you support immediately whisking them away without recourse until a few hours before their trial. You further support the confiscation of all their assets and placing their children into a government care facility. Can't have people roaming around on bail, or allow phone calls either, those tricksy criminals.

Didn't the USSC rule that the baker didn't have to make the cake? I thought the ruling was hailed as a victory for religious liberty?

Tom, yes it is that decayed. The polarization is real. I can tell you exactly how to end illegal immigration but it would cause both parties supporters heads to explode:

1) National ID Number & Card - this is used to get employment.

2) Fining businesses a year's gross (not net) profits if they hire a single illegal immigrant without being able to show they checked the National ID Number/Card. For each offense. 1 Illegal = 1 offense, 10 illegals = 10 offenses. I'd be generous and give companies 3 years to get into compliance.

3) In cases of hiring illegal immigrants, the corporate veil does not apply: All C-Level executives and Board members are personally liable for fines as well as the corporation. After all if the C-Levels are supposed to be the commanding officers of the ship, and the board the overseers, it's their responsibility, and thus they are responsible for the illegal behavior.

4) Illegally entering the US (or overstaying your Visa, exempting travel issues like the airplane can't leave) bars you from ever immigrating to the US (or even visiting) for the rest of your life.

5) Change the 14th amendment: This is to prevent people from countries like Russia or China from coming to US to give birth so their kids have US Citizenship. The new rule about birth citizenship would be simple: you inherit the citizenship your parents possess. If one is American and the other is French, Congrats American/French citizen! If both of your parents are Russian? Preykrasnaya! You're a Russian citizen. The only exception would be people whose parents are from countries like North Korea, which do not recognize births abroad to dissidents. This is solely to prevent people without a state, but would only apply to a handful of people every year.

6) Creating/Selling false National ID Cards / Numbers is a felony good for 10 years at a place like Leavenworth.

You won't see illegal immigration very much, and those that do will have serious money to buy very good fake papers after a couple agricultural corporations, and possibly even Walmart, are bankrupted for hiring illegals.

Posted by: Joe Servov | June 21, 2018 8:36 PM    Report this comment

This article is well written and to the point from a neutral perspective. Thank you staff at AvWeb, your appreciated!

Ron with the cargo pod.

Posted by: Ron Parrow | June 21, 2018 8:51 PM    Report this comment

Well I won't likely ever say this about ANY airline again....bravo for your integrity.

I agree with a previous statement. Illegal is illegal...period.

Posted by: Kevin K | June 24, 2018 4:18 PM    Report this comment

As long as the standard of living in the US is higher than in other countries, legal or not, migration will continue.

Posted by: Rafael Sierra | June 26, 2018 11:32 AM    Report this comment

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