Airlines taking stand in immigration crisis, refusing to fly separated migrant children

June 20, 2018
  • By Joe Bruno, WSOCTV.com

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday afternoon to keep families together at the border amid national outrage and pressure from both political parties.

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Trump officially reversed his argument that the office of the president has no authority to stop separations of undocumented immigrant families.

Charlotte Douglas International Airport’s major airline, American Airline, is strongly against the family separation process.

"We have therefore requested the federal government to immediately refrain from using American for the purpose of transporting children who have been separated from their families," airline officials said in a statement.

"We have no desire to be associated with separating families, or worse, to profit from it. We have every expectation the government will comply with our request and we thank them for doing so."

>> Related: Trump signs executive order to keep families together at border

American Airlines is not the only airline making this request. United Airlines and Frontier Airlines also told the government not to use their planes for that purpose.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian said the role of airlines is “making the world a more connected place.”

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“We are very clear that our mission is bringing the world together and connecting people to each other, and anything that runs counter to that, obviously Delta is going to be opposed,” Bastian said.

That isn't sitting well with the Department of Homeland Security.

"It's unfortunate that American Air, United and Frontier no longer want to partner with the brave men and women of DHS to protect the traveling public, combat human trafficking and to swiftly reunite unaccompanied illegal immigrant children with their families," a DHS spokesperson said.

>> Related: Recording of crying immigrant children separated from parents at border sparks outrage

Officials with DHS also said the airlines do not understand immigration laws and the loopholes that have caused the crisis at the border.

An American Airlines aricraft is prepped for take off. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images