Statement on Lengthening Detention Time of Immigrant Families With Children | Global Refuge

New name, same mission! LIRS is now Global Refuge. Learn more.

New name.
Same mission.

LIRS is now Global Refuge.

Welcoming newcomers since 1939.

See Our Evolution

The browser you are using is not supported. Please consider using a modern browser.

Skip Navigation
Donate
Start of main content.

Press Release // Immigration and Asylum

Statement on Lengthening Detention Time of Immigrant Families With Children

Global Refuge logo

Global Refuge Staff

August 21, 2019

In the latest attack on the most vulnerable among us, the Trump administration has proposed terminating the Flores Settlement Agreement (FSA), a federal consent decree in place since 1977 that stipulates that immigrant children cannot be detained more than 20 days. The new rule, expected to be issued Friday, would remove that restriction, essentially allowing unlimited incarceration of children and families.

Detaining children is never in their best interest and ignores the fact that medical experts all agree that short- and long-term detention damages a child’s physical and mental health.  Global Refuge believes that this careless rule places children’s lives at risk.

“This rule means that families would be detained throughout the course of their immigration proceedings – which could be mean months or years depending how long it takes for their case to be heard and resolved,” said Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Global Refuge. “Ending the protections of Flores would allow babies and children to be detained in jail-like conditions. This rule is like putting the wolf in charge of the sheep. We’ve already seen six children die while in U.S. custody. “

“This proposed rule breaks every international treaty governing humane detention of prisoners—and make no mistake, that’s what these children would be,” Vignarajah said. “The government should focus on proven tested and humane alternatives to detention, like family case management, which has a 99 percent compliance rate. There is simply no justification for detaining children—or any humans– indefinitely.”

“The government’s argument that humane restrictions on detention leads asylee families to think they have a ‘free pass’ to the U.S. is ridiculous on its face,” Vignarajah said. “What leads families to flee everything they know, family, friends, culture– and travel thousands of miles, often on foot, carrying nothing but their children and the clothes on their backs? It’s a credible fear and that’s what allows a family to stay in this country as they exercise a legal right.”

Global Refuge strongly condemns this latest attack in the unceasing war on immigrants and urges the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services to work with us and other NGOs to develop a sane, sound and safe plan that respects the rights and dignity of all of God’s children.

Donate

The Latest

  • Press Release

    June 18, 2024

    Global Refuge Commends Executive Order Protecting Certain Immigrant Families

    Washington, D.C. – The Biden administration announced today an executive order that will protect certain immigrant spouses and children of U.S. citizens without status currently living in the United States from being removed from the country.

    Read More
  • Press Release

    June 4, 2024

    Biden administration announces additional asylum restrictions

    The Biden administration announced today a proclamation to further restrict asylum eligibility at the southern border for people who cross between official U.S. ports of entry.

    Read More
  • Press Release

    May 23, 2024

    U.S. Senate renews push for immigration reform

    The United States Senate is poised to vote on immigration legislation this Thursday in an effort to revive reforms previously negotiated by Democratic and Republican senators.

    Read More
  • News

    May 15, 2024

    Empowering our new neighbors on the journey to healing

    Global Refuge supports refugee and immigrant mental health through holistic programming.

    Read More
  • News · Empowering Refugees

    May 14, 2024

    Breaking Barriers to Mental Healthcare

    In celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month this May, we are spotlighting Margie Hartman LMSW, one of our dedicated clinicians who play a vital role in Global Refuge’s Mental Health Services program.

    Read More

Share