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Congress must act to end child and family incarceration, protect children from further irreparable harm
Washington, D.C. – CWS today strongly condemned the Trump administration’s final Flores rule that will dismantle child protections and harm immigrant families – even as family separations persist. By decimating the longstanding Flores Settlement Agreement that set minimum standards for children in immigration detention, the administration illegally and wrongfully seeks to indefinitely detain immigrant children in inhumane facilities that subject them to trauma and abuse. As people of faith, our scriptures command us to love our neighbors and welcome immigrants as we would welcome God.
In response to the proposed rule change, Rev. John L. McCullough, CWS President and CEO, issued the following statement:
“The same administration that has half a dozen child deaths on its hands should not be allowed to detain children indefinitely or otherwise erode minimum standards of care. All children and families deserve to live together in safety.”
“This administration has already done irreparable harm to thousands of children and families who came to our nation seeking protection. Children and families running for their lives should never be incarcerated, nor should a child be needlessly separated from their parent. As people of faith and conscience, we demand that Congress hold the administration accountable to prioritizing child welfare, rather than separating children from their parents or detaining children or families.”
This comes following the deaths of at least seven children in federal custody and reports of unsafe and overcrowded immigration detention facilities. CWS calls on Congress to protect immigrant children and families, terminate the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy that separates families, and ensure separated families are immediately reunified. Congress should also cut the Department of Homeland Security’s budget for deportation, detention, and border militarization and instead invest in programs that address true human needs, including the root causes of migration.
CWS has issued statements on the deaths of of Jakelin Caal Maquin, Felipe Alonzo Gomez, Juan de León Gutiérrez, Wilmer Josué Ramírez Vásquez. Our statement about the tear-gassing of children is available here.
Since 1946, Church World Service has supported refugees, immigrants and other displaced individuals, in addition to providing sustainable relief and development solutions to communities that wrestle with hunger and poverty. Learn more about our work and join our global homebase for refugee solidarity at GreaterAs1.org.