Ahead of Hearing, Accountability Group Launches Accountability Campaign on Trump’s Family Separation Policy

Campaign Kicks Off with Mobile Billboards Targeting CNN Hire; New National Polling

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, before the House Judiciary Committee’s planned oversight hearing into the Trump administration’s family separation immigration policy, Restore Public Trust (RPT) launched a new campaign to hold accountable the agencies, companies, and individuals who are responsible for developing, implementing, and/or defending the policy.

“Hundreds of children are still separated from their families because of the Trump administration’s horrific family separation policy which has  no clear process or timeframe for reunification,” said Karl Frisch, a spokesperson for Restore Public Trust. “The administration and their allies claim the child separation crisis is over. It’s not. The public deserves answers about how this inhumane policy came to be, how it was carried out, and how and when it will end.”

In addition to supporting Congressional oversight responsibilities, RPT will also drive accountability campaigns against lawmakers in their home states and target corporations who are benefiting from the policy. They will  also encourage companies to avoid hiring or working with any Trump administration officials who were involved in developing, implementing, or defending the family separation policy.

RPT is kicking off the campaign with mobile billboard ads in Atlanta condemning CNN’s decision to hire Sarah Igsur, former spokesperson for then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, to oversee the network’s coverage of the 2020 election despite her role defending the administration’s family separation policy.

“We are going to make sure those responsible for this ongoing crisis are held accountable,” added Frisch. “Congress should exercise their constitutional oversight responsibilities and  bring transparency and accountability to what happened, something Trump loyalists have refused to do. Beyond Congress, complicit administration officials should not be able to profit from their work on this policy.”

RPT also released new polling today showing that voters strongly oppose the Trump administration’s family separation policy, and strongly support Congressional investigations into the issue. Bipartisan majorities also believe Congress should hold the administration accountable for the crisis and bring greater transparency to the agencies responsible for implementing the policy.

Key findings include:

  • Americans believe Congress should investigate the family separation policy. New survey data shows that a clear majority of voters believe the administration’s policy of family separation – and the fact that many have still not been reunited – is a convincing reason for Congress to investigate the administration (57% convincing).
  • Support for investigating the family separation policy has been consistent over time. In RPT’s September 2018 survey, family separation was Americans’ highest priority for Congress to investigate as part of its oversight duties. When asked to rank 26 possible transgressions in the administration by order of priority, voters selected family separation more than any other. It was far and away the top priority among Democrats and was also the fourth most important for independents.
  • Americans want greater oversight and accountability for agencies involved in family separation. In July 2018, surveys of four Republican-held Congressional districts saw majority support for an increase in oversight of the agencies responsible for family separation. This is a strongly bipartisan view – not only do large majorities of Democrats and independents in these districts support greater oversight, half or more of Republicans in each of these districts do as well (62% in OR-02, 57% in CA-10, 54% in TX-32, and 50% in WA-05). Two of these districts (CA-10 and TX-32) have since flipped to Democratic control.


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