Some airlines refuse to fly separated migrant children

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Children at the Mexican border.
Children at the Mexican border. Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

UPDATE: Late Wednesday afternoon, President Trump signed an executive order that addresses the separation of children from their families.

Amid mounting social pressure, some airlines are speaking out about the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy of separating parents from children at the border. Such brands join the growing chorus of consumers, and several company CEOs, particularly in the tech industry, calling for an end to the practice.

Early Wednesday, American Airlines released a statement that noted the family separation process is "not at all aligned with the values of American Airlines." Though the Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier has contracts with the federal government, it said it has no knowledge that its aircrafts have been used to transport those children who have been separated from their parents.

The company has "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," the statement read.

Similarly, Oscar Munoz, CEO of United Airlines, issued a statement on Wednesday that said according to United's research, the company has not found any evidence that the children have flown on their planes. However, the company is also telling federal officials not to transport immigrant children separated from their parents on its aircrafts.

"Our company's shared purpose is to connect people and unite the world," Munoz said. "This policy and its impact on thousands of children is in deep conflict with that mission and we want no part of it."

A statement was also sent to Ad Age from Frontier Airlines, which reads, "Frontier prides itself on being a family airline and we will not knowingly allow our flights to be used to transport migrant children away from their families. At this time, we are not aware if Frontier has been used for this purpose."

Meanwhile, the heads of tech giants including Apple, Facebook and Google have spoken out against the immigration policy. Hamdi Ulukaya, chief executive and founder of yogurt company Chobani, tweeted against the policy earlier this week.

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