Two of the largest airlines in the country on Wednesday declared they want no part in transporting immigrant children separated from their families.
“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 families,” United Airlines said in a statement sent to ABC News.
American Airlines also said it had contacted federal officials and “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,” the airline said, according to CBS News. “We have every expectation the government will comply with our request and we thank them for doing so.”
Frontier Airlines also issued a statement.
Department of Homeland Security Press Secretary Tyler Houlton responded on Wednesday by claiming that “these airlines clearly do not understand our immigration laws” and accused them of not standing with with the brave men and women separating kids from their parents.
The airlines released their statements after a widely shared Facebook post claimed that sixteen children “dressed as criminals” were transported on a commercial flight from Arizona to Florida.
The Arizona Republic looked at flight times and reported that American Airlines was “the likely airline” that transported the children.
“We have no way to substantiate the report at this time but would be disappointed to learn that our airline was being used to separate families,” American said, according to CBS News.
No word yet on whether United and American will also tell the government to stop deporting adults on their commercial flights.