Basic Protections Needed for Children in ORR Custody

September 19, 2018


Washington, DC — The basic needs of children before and during their care and custody by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR):

  • Unaccompanied children must be received and protected when they arrive in our country seeking protection.  We must ensure appropriate care and custody until they can be reunified with a family member.  Any facilities holding children must be subject to consistent and stringent oversight.
  • ORR, responsible for the care and custody of over 12,000 unaccompanied children, must continue to expedite reunifications in the safest manner possible.  ORR has expertise in child welfare and its facilities are tailored to meet the basic needs of the children in its custody and care. Nevertheless, children should be held in these facilities for the least amount of time possible until they can safely be released to a sponsor.
  • The proposed Flores regulations will allow children to be held for long periods of time in detention facilities with less stringent oversight. This is unacceptable.
  • Children who arrive with a parent or legal guardian available to take care of them should not be subject to indefinite detention in family facilities.  Children who arrive alone must be cared for appropriately and safely in ORR facilities until a safe sponsor is found.


Media Contact: Megan McKenna,, 202-631-9990