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Senators Call for End to Family Detention

June 2, 2015 – The Women's Refugee Commission (WRC) commends the 33 Senators who today sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson, urging the Department to reverse course on its practice of detaining women and children who are fleeing “shocking rates of domestic and sexual violence and murder” in Central America.

Citing the serious harmful impact of family detention on young children, the Senators find that, even with improvements, mass family detention is inconsistent with this country's commitment to protect the persecuted. DHS could turn to any of several alternatives that are far more humane and less costly to the U.S. taxpayer.

With both chambers of Congress having now issued letters calling on the Administration to reverse course, and amidst ongoing litigation, DHS should “end the practice of presumptive detention of families and return to the policy of utilizing detention only as a last resort.”