Press Releases

Contact: Simona Combi
Phone: 202-657-0679

Statement: Proposed Rule Would Allow Indefinite Detention of Children

Child Rights
Children of Immigrants
Racial Equity

Detention for any amount of time has negative life-long consequences for a child’s mental and physical well-being, and these consequences are compounded for children who have already experienced significant trauma. Family detention and the detention of children has been condemned by the American Academy of Pediatrics as well as the American College of Physicians. Still, today hundreds of innocent children languish in detention separated from their loved ones due to the Trump administration’s shameful and abusive policy of separating families at the border. Detaining children with their parents is not a solution, but rather an exchange of one horrific policy for another.

The following statement comes from Kristen Torres, Director of Child Welfare and Immigration at First Focus:

“We strongly condemn the Trump Administration’s move to dismantle protections for immigrant children. A proposed rule will allow immigrant children’s indefinite detention in facilities licensed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which has proven time and time again to be woefully inadequate and dangerous for children. The rule aims to eliminate the Flores Settlement Agreement, which currently sets the national standards for the detention, release, and treatment of both accompanied and unaccompanied children.

Any changes to current standards should focus on the best interest of the child and build on the Flores protections. It is in the best interest of the child to be free from harm, free from detention, and together with his/her loved ones. Immigration enforcement and policy decisions must consider the children affected by these decisions. This proposed rule does not.”