Washington, DC – Today, as President Trump prepares to visit the U.S.-Mexico border, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) President Wendy Young issued the following statement:
“In the final days of his administration, President Trump is going to the border where thousands of children are living in dangerous camps, are preyed upon by traffickers and criminals, and were taken from their parents.
“This visit marks the end of a tragic period in which the U.S. government relentlessly targeted immigrant and refugee children and dramatically reduced protections for these children, increasing the likelihood that they would be unfairly returned to harm.
“We urge the incoming Biden Administration to immediately start the vital work of rebuilding the United States’ leadership in protecting the most vulnerable, including unaccompanied children on the move. President-elect Biden’s team faces a lengthy list of necessary steps to undo the chaos that currently permeates our nation’s immigration system. The first 100 days will be a critical time for our government to take stock of the challenges before us, restore order and access to legal protections at the border, and immediately act to address immigration policies that fail to reflect our nation’s most cherished ideals.”
President Trump’s scheduled trip to the border comes just days after a federal judge blocked his administration’s latest attack on immigrants, a federal order to impose a sweeping set of asylum restrictions limiting access to relief for those seeking protection, including children. KIND has called on the Biden Administration to restore order at the border and recommit to upholding the law ensuring unaccompanied migrant children have access to protection. In the first 100 days, the group is urging the new administration to:
- Ensure unaccompanied children are not unlawfully expelled and are allowed a fair opportunity to ask for protection in the United States
- Dedicate increased resources for legal representation of unaccompanied children
- Commit to reestablishing an in-country refugee processing program
- Reset foreign policy toward Central America and increase foreign assistance to the region with a priority on the development of programs that target the root causes of child migration, restoring the rule of law and respect for human rights
- Assemble a task force dedicated to reunifying families separated under the Trump Administration
For more information about the organization’s recommendations, please see KIND’s Blueprint “Concrete Steps to Protect Unaccompanied Children on the Move.”
Media Contact: Megan McKenna, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-631-9990