ICE Use of Hotels for Children: Callous Disregard for Child Welfare and the Law

July 22, 2020

In response to news reports that the Trump Administration is detaining unaccompanied children as young as 1 year old in hotels, Kids in Need of Defense President Wendy Young issued the following statement:

It is unconscionable that ICE would so callously disregard the safety of unaccompanied children and hold them in hotels for days and weeks at a time, including very young children. This appalling violation of basic child welfare standards runs counter to values that we hold dear in this nation and is a shameful use of taxpayer dollars that could otherwise be invested in programs that protect children on the move who are in danger of trafficking and other threats posed by criminal entities. The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act established a comprehensive system to care for unaccompanied children that this practice flagrantly violates. The Office of Refugee Resettlement, the agency charged with the care and custody of these children under this law, is at only 7 percent capacity.

This is yet another egregious example of how the Trump Administration is circumventing laws and policies designed to protect immigrant children to advance its deeply flawed immigration agenda.


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