Three Airlines Ask Government to Not Use Their Planes for Migrant Children

Three airlines say they've told the federal government they do not want it transporting migrant children who had been separated from their families aboard their airplanes. 

American Airlines released a statement on Wednesday saying they had notified officials to "immediately refrain" from using their planes. 

"The family separation process that has been widely publicized is not at all aligned with the values of American Airlines — we bring families together, not apart," the country's largest airline said in the statement. "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 due to the current immigration policy."

American Airlines wasn't the only carrier to put the federal government on notice. Frontier and United Airlines also issued statements saying they want no part of the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy on immigration. Over 2,300 children have been separated from their parents and placed in holding facilities since the new policy was adopted in early May. 

The airlines say they have not found any evidence that the federal government has placed migrant children on their planes.

Department of Homeland Security press secretary Tyler Houlton responded to the airlines refusing to do business with the federal government with a series of tweets from his account, criticizing them for making decisions based "on a false media narrative." 

"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," Houlton wrote. "Buckling to a false media narrative only exacerbates the problems at our border and puts more children at risk from traffickers. We wish the airlines would instead choose to be part of the solution." 

President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday ending his administration's policy of separating migrant families despite earlier claims that he had no ability to do so. 

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