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Separation of Immigrant Families in US Immigration Custody


As the numbers of family units migrating together rises, so have the instances of arbitrary and harmful family separation, both before and upon reaching the US border. Family separation can cause undue trauma to children and impede the ability of families to access asylum and other protection mechanisms because individual family members may be unable to apply for the same benefit they are legally entitled to apply for as a family unit. Separation of adult family members during the deportation process has also shown to expose deported individuals to serious harm, rendering them more vulnerable to abuse, assaults, kidnapping, and trafficking.

Key agencies involved, namely the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Health and Human Services, DHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG)/Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL)/CBP Office of Internal Affairs (IA), CBP, ICE, USCIS, and the Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) have a responsibility and obligation to ensure that families remain unified, safe, informed of their rights, and protected at all stages of their migration journey.

United States Children Detention and Separation Rights and Justice One-pagers