• Rights & Justice & Advocacy Briefs

    Child Welfare Sign-On Letter thumbnail

    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.

    Making the Global Compact on Refugees Work for All Women and Girls Recommendations thumbnail

    Making the Global Compact on Refugees Work for All Women and Girls Recommendations

    States must ensure that the GCR takes these pledges forward by integrating gender considerations into the four pillars of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework, which is the foundation for the GCR. This paper presents recommendations from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) committed to refugee responses that advance gender equality and respond fully to the concerns of refugee women and girls.
    Letter to DHS and ICE To Recognize Immigrant Communities Deserve Safety and Justice thumbnail

    Letter to DHS and ICE To Recognize Immigrant Communities Deserve Safety and Justice

    On March 8, 2017, Women's Refugee Commission as well as over 560 other national, state and local organizations sent a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John F. Kelly and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Thomas Homan calling on DHS to recognize that immigrant communities deserve safety and justice.
    Separation of Immigrant Families in U.S. Immigration Custody  thumbnail

    Separation of Immigrant Families in U.S. 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 U.S. border. Family unity must also be a respected principle in enforcement and removal operations by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
    Family Detention & the Flores Settlement Agreement thumbnail

    Family Detention & the Flores Settlement Agreement

    In the summer of 2015, a court ruled that government practices of detaining asylum-seeking families violate the 1997 Flores Settlement for unaccompanied children. The government’s should immediately reverse their family detention policies, dismantle the facilities, and release children and their parents.
    The Real Alternatives to Detention thumbnail

    The Real Alternatives to Detention

    Alternatives to detention are effective, humane, and comply with domestic and international law. Most asylum-seekers pose little flight risk.
    One Year Later: Where are the refugee mothers and children? thumbnail

    One Year Later: Where are the refugee mothers and children?

    In June 2014, President Obama referred to the unprecedented numbers of children and families fleeing violence in Central America as an “urgent humanitarian situation.” Since then, these asylum-seekers have been detained in prison-like detention facilities.
    The Detention of Immigrant Families | 2015 thumbnail

    The Detention of Immigrant Families | 2015

    A Backgrounder on Family Detention

    In 2014, years after closing public outcry forced the closing of the infamous T. Don Hutto family detention facility, the Obama Administration dramatically increased the detention of migrant families. Seeking asylum is not an illegal act, and these families should be met with protection, not punishment.

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