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Take Action: Contact Congress

We need your help to urge Congress to end policies that put women, children, and families at the US-Mexico border in danger.

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On July 11, 2011, Senators Al Franken (D-MN), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) reintroduced the Senate version of the "Humane Enforcement and Legal Protections for Separated Children," legislation that would implement critically needed reforms to protect children and families impacted by immigration enforcement.

The bill would ensure that parents and guardians apprehended by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or its surrogates are identified in a timely manner and provided the opportunity to make care arrangements for their minor children upon apprehension. The bill would prevent prolonged parent-child separation or the unnecessary loss of parental rights by ensuring that parents and guardians are able to regularly communicate with their children, the child welfare system, and family courts. The legislation would minimize hardship on children and save taxpayers millions of dollars by reducing the likelihood that children will be placed unnecessarily into the foster care system.

Read the Women's Refugee Commission's statement on the reintroduction of the "Human Enforcement and Legal Protections for Separated Children Act."

Read our Section by Section summary of the Senate version of the HELP Act. 

Read our letter to U.S. Congress members. 

On July 21, 2011, Representative Lynn C. Woolsey reintroduced H.R. 2607,  the "Humane Enforcement and Legal Protections for Separated Children Act". The HELP for Separated Children Act would establish critical safeguards to protect the best interest of children and to preserve the integrity of families by mandating nationwide protocols to help keep children with their parents or caregivers--and out of the foster care system--while their parents' or caregiver's immigration case is pending.  The HELP for Separated Children Act would also ensure that children who are placed in the foster care system receive appropriate care and are able to be reunified with their parent at the conclusion of the parent's detention.

Read our Section by Section summary of HR 2607.

Take Action to support the Senate and House versions of the 2011 HELP Act.



The Women's Refugee Commission recently held a briefing in the U.S. House of Representatives urging members of Congress to act on HR 3531 the HELP for Separated Children Act, a crucial piece of legislation that would help keep families and children together.   

Read more in our press release.

     Read more about the issue of family separation and parental rights.


     A report published by the Urban Institute, "Facing Our Future: Children in the Aftermath of Immigration Enforcement", echoes the need for policy change to protect the rights of children and families impacted by immigration enforcement and reaffirms the Women's Refugee Commission’s recommendations for addressing the crisis impacting immigrant families.

    The Women’s Refugee Commission collaborated on a report published by First Focus, “The Impact of Immigration Enforcement on Child Welfare,” which explores the obstacles to family reunification caused by placing children whose parents are apprehended on immigration charges into the child welfare system.