Washington, DC – Nearly 70,000 migrant children have been held in government custody this year and are being held for significantly longer periods of time. KIND notes that the Administration’s policy of deterrence not only is ineffective, but that it is causing irreparable harm to thousands of children. The continuing practice of taking children from their parents unnecessarily, and cruelly, creates additional unaccompanied children. In response, KIND issued the following statement:
“Children deserve better than what these new statistics show us. The trend towards holding children for longer periods of time is greatly disturbing and unnecessary. In addition, continued family separation is causing great suffering. In recent months, KIND has worked with a 6-month-old who was taken from his mother at 4 months. We also worked with 3-year-old with physical disabilities who has so far been separated for 2.5 months and is still being held in custody. Family separation must end.
“This report makes clear the need to address the violence and lack of protection and safety that forces children to flee their countries in Central America and come to the United States. People fleeing for their lives will not be deterred from what they view as their only chance to secure safety for themselves and their families. Children have been coming in large numbers since 2014. We urge Congress to act, including passage of the Central America Reform and Enforcement (CARE) Act (S. 1445) that would allow children to apply for protection in their home countries and expand refugee processing in the region.
“The only way to end the suffering both here in the United States and in Central America is to put in place policies that stop prioritizing deterrence and focus on protection for children in their home countries, as well as for those who seek safety in the United States.”
Read more in KIND’s piece in The Hill’s Congress Blog
For more information, please contact Megan McKenna, firstname.lastname@example.org; 202-631-9990.