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Child Welfare Sign-On Letter


Child Welfare Groups Oppose Plan to Separate Migrant Families

On January 23, 2018, more than 200 child welfare, juvenile justice, and child development organizations sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen calling on the administration to reverse course on plans to separate migrant children from their parents at the U.S. border. This policy proposal was first discussed publicly by then Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly in March 2017, when he indicated that he was considering separating families in an effort to deter them from seeking asylum. Despite considerable pushback from the letter signatories and many other groups, Secretary Nielsen refused to rule out implementing the proposal when she testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 16, 2018.

The letter notes that, “there is overwhelming evidence that children need to be cared for by their parents to be safe and healthy, to grow and develop…[and that] separating children from their mothers or fathers leads to serious negative consequences to children’s health and development.” It also notes that a policy of separation would undermine children’s ability to make a protection claim and would erode principles of family unity that are fundamental in our state and federal laws.

Children Youth Detention and Separation Rights and Justice One-pagers