As in the NRA debate, sometimes airlines choose to wade into politics…or morality, depending upon how you view the issue.
Just moments ago, United released a statement from CEO Oscar Munoz condemning the Trump Administration policy of separating minor children from parents who are interdicted while crossing the border illegally. Munoz asserts United is not aware of any cases in which the federal government transported immigrant children back to their homelands and vows it will not happen. Furthermore, Munoz broadly condemns the Administration’s immigration policy in the final sentence:
At United Airlines, we have been concerned about reports that commercial airlines have been used to transport immigrant children separated from their parents by a newly implemented immigration enforcement policy. Based on some research we have done internally and public reports, we have not seen evidence these children have been flown on United aircraft.
Based on our serious concerns about this policy and how it’s in deep conflict with our company’s values, we have contacted federal officials to inform them that they should not transport immigrant children on United aircraft who have been separated from their parents. Our company’s shared purpose is to connect people and unite the world. This policy and its impact on thousands of children is in deep conflict with that mission and we want no part of it.
Earlier today, American Airlines issued the following statement:
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. American, like many U.S. airlines, provides travel to the federal government through contracts; however, the government does not disclose information about the nature of the flights it takes or the passengers who are traveling. While we have carried refugees for non-profits and the government, many of whom are being reunited with family or friends, we have no knowledge that the federal government has used American to transport children who have been separated from their parents due to the recent immigration policy, but we would be extremely disappointed to learn that is the case.
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. 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.
With American and United loudly condemning the child separation policy, will other airlines join in?
The issue may be moot, though. We’re hearing news that Trump will shortly sign an Executive Order which will halt family separation.
Are you proud of American and United for taking a stand on this issue?
image: Milu92 / Wikimedia Commons