Press Releases

Contact: Michele Kayal
Phone: 703-919-8778

Statement: “Best interests of children” must govern policy

Child Abuse & Neglect
Child Rights

In response to Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s order to revoke the licenses of facilities serving unaccompanied minors, First Focus on Children President Bruce Lesley issued the following statement:

“Governor Abbott’s decision is unsafe, unnecessary and does nothing to protect migrant children in custody or Texan children in the foster care system— it is simply the governor playing politics with the lives of children. If he is truly concerned about the safety of children, as he claimed just a few months ago, he will reverse this decision immediately.

Small, state-licensed facilities are the best way to care for children until they can be united with a family member or community sponsor. We need to work with government at all levels to support state-licensed facilities so they can offer children the services they need while in the government’s care. Gov. Abbott’s decision to revoke state licenses will disrupt the expert care these centers provide, lead to the further displacement of children around the country, and put the safety of children at risk. We cannot allow any elected official to use children as props in their own political agenda. The best interests of children should always govern policy, but instead, Gov. Abbott’s order would put kids at further risk and harm.”