Since last summer, the Obama Administration has been detaining Central American children and mothers who have come to the United States seeking protection. The evidence is now overwhelming that the vast majority of these mothers and children are asylum seekers, and that detention is placing their mental and physical health at risk. It is not illegal for asylum seekers to come to our borders seeking protection and they should not be treated as if it is.
There is no humane way to detain families, period.
ICE’s recent announcement of proposed “reforms” to make family detention more hospitable completely misses the mark. In response to ICE’s announcement, several Members of Congress have said this response is not good enough. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that ending family detention “is the only option.” On Thursday, Members of Congress held a press conference with the same message.
Now is the time to end to the practice of detaining mothers and children. It is not consistent with our values as people of faith or Americans. There are more humane and compassionate methods to ensure that immigrants show up at their hearings, including community-based alternatives to detention (ATD) that provide comprehensive case management and connect families with desperately needed social services.
Please take action TODAY or TUESDAY by visiting LIRS’s Action Center or calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-226-8000 to be connected with your Members of Congress to urge them to join the effort to end family detention, now.