Press Releases

Gutiérrez, Roybal-Allard, and Lofgren call for end to family detention program

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Washington, May 13, 2015 | Contact: Peter Whippy (202-225-3072) | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Luis V. Gutiérrez (D- Ill.), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) today issued the following statement calling on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to end its family detention policy after a new set of actions was announced by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE):

“We acknowledge that DHS is trying to address broad public disappointment with its policy of incarcerating vulnerable women and children. Unfortunately, today’s plan states that DHS will continue detaining women and children, and only consider methods of making the facilities better and more humane.

“The United States government should not be in the business of holding mothers and children in detention, no matter how nice the facilities or how many stakeholder meetings the government has.

“Jailing children and women is not the answer.  It is detrimental to child development, and can have serious and long-lasting impacts on the psychological health and well-being of these families.  Furthermore, we’ve learned of many women and children confined in detention centers who have severe medical needs, including intellectual disabilities, cancers, and various serious medical disorders.

“We need to do the right thing, and we are confident that DHS can both honor our nation’s commitment to the well-being of children as well as our commitment to law enforcement and public safety.

“The government should be releasing detainees on supervised or monitored release pending the disposition of their cases – not fighting the court orders, injunctions, and overwhelming evidence against family detention.”

Rep. Gutiérrez is the Chairman of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Rep. Roybal-Allard is the Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee of the House Committee on Appropriations, and Rep. Lofgren is the Ranking Member of the Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee.

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