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Children Belong With Their Families — Here’s How We Can Get There

In The Hill, Leah Chavla, Women’s Refugee Commission’s senior policy advisor, Migrant Rights and Justice, co-authored an op-ed with Denise Bell, researcher for refugee and migrant rights at Amnesty International USA, urging the Biden administration and US government to take bold action to transform how it welcomes children into this country and ensure their human rights.

Compassion and dignity must become the administration’s leading lights, and the well-being of children the barometer for success.

We’ve seen some of the worst of what the U.S. can do: In 2018 and 2019, Amnesty International and the Women’s Refugee Commission visited the temporary influx facilities for unaccompanied children at Tornillo and Carrizo Springs in Texas, and the notorious Homestead facility in Florida. Advocacy groups like ours sounded the alarm, calling for accountability for human rights violations at these facilities. We demanded an end to the cruel policies that had necessitated the use of these facilities at all – forcibly separating families and using children as bait to deport their potential sponsors.