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Home / Press Release / New Efforts to Separate and Detain Families Would Double Down on Cruelty
October 12, 2018

New Efforts to Separate and Detain Families Would Double Down on Cruelty

Washington, D.C.—In response to reports that the Trump Administration is considering new efforts to separate and detain families at the U.S. southern border, Human Rights First’s Eleanor Acer issued the following statement:

This country should not send children and their parents to immigration jails or take children from their parents. Neither should it try to force parents to make the impossible choice between having their children taken from them or held in immigration jails for long periods. These cruel policies hurt children, waste resources, and don’t solve anything. 

Instead of lobbying for more immigration jails, the Trump Administration should address the conditions that are pushing people to flee in search of protection and use case management programs that are effective at supporting appearance. But instead ICE mysteriously canceled its Family Case Management Program, which led to near perfect appearance rates for immigration hearings and appointments. DHS has humane and effective tools, but it just doesn’t want to use them. The administration would rather rain cruelty on fleeing families. 

Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s Family Case Management Program, which provided support to families released from detention, resulted in 99 percent attendance for ICE check-ins and appointments, as well as 100 percent attendance at court hearings. The Department of Homeland Security’s own advisory committee recommended expansion of community-based programs rather than detention.

Read Human Rights First’s Top Ten Reasons Family Incarceration is not a solution.

To speak with Acer contact Corinne Duffy at DuffyC@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3319.