Washington, DC—In advance of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing, “Resources and Authorities Needed to Protect and Secure the Homeland,” KIND urges the Biden Administration to take immediate steps to protect the safety of unaccompanied children at the U.S.-Mexico border as it prepares to lift the deeply flawed and illegal use of Title 42.
“As the Biden Administration prepares for safe and orderly processing at the border following the end of the Title 42 policy, it faces a critical opportunity to implement practical and innovative solutions that can meet immediate needs while making progress toward transformative improvements to the care and treatment of children in the immigration system,” said KIND President Wendy Young. “Such reforms can help ensure the protection of children at all times—including by providing for children’s safe, humanitarian reception, care, and timely reunification with family in the U.S., and by ensuring counsel to help children navigate their legal cases.”
The Administration has already undertaken laudable actions to safely receive unprecedented numbers of unaccompanied children and to restore access to fundamental humanitarian protections denied to children in recent years. The following additional actions will help ensure appropriate treatment of and fair access to protection for unaccompanied children who arrive at the border:
- Restore access to protection at ports of entry
- Hire child welfare professionals in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody to screen and care for children
- Co-locate specialists from the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials to expedite the safe release of children to a sponsor
“KIND is hopeful that the Administration will embrace these additional practical solutions that can advance the agency’s preparedness and responsiveness to current challenges while paving the way for broader reforms.”
Media Contact: Megan McKenna, email@example.com, 202-631-9990