Stop holding migrant children at detention centers
Issue Area: Immigration | Campaign Type: National
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The Goal of our Campaign
This is a campaign to improve the conditions of migrants held in detention and lessen the harm done to them and their children.
The Problem with Detention Centers
We have seen firsthand the harm that detention can have on the physical and mental health and wellbeing of all migrants, especially children and pregnant women.
We believe that U.S. values and traditions conflict profoundly with the inhumane imprisonment and treatment of those seeking safety in our country. Those who would rather risk everything than remain in countries where violence and gangs reign. Where their lives and their children’s lives are under constant threat. Under U.S. and international law, they are allowed to seek protection and apply for asylum
Instead, because of new government policies, thousands have been turned away and returned to Mexico, where they remain in danger. Thousands of others have been sent to immigration detention centers to await decisions on their fate. That includes children and women, even those who are pregnant, who should not be held in detention at all.
Asylum seekers should not be forced to stay in detention centers or camps while awaiting adjudication of their claims. News reports and other testimonies have documented substandard and even terrible conditions: no running water, no soap, no beds, inedible food. Medications have been taken away from those who need them; outbreaks have occurred and the government has decided not to provide vaccines. This is unacceptable.
Many advocates have rightfully been fighting to change these conditions. But we are here to say that it is not enough to ask to improve the conditions in the detention centers.
Individuals who await decisions while in detention risk worsening of chronic medical conditions, development of new illnesses and pregnancy complications, and even death. Those dying in immigration custody include at least seven children, among them Felipe Gomez Alonzo, Carlos Gregorio Hernandez and Jakelin Call Maquin.
A child’s death is the ultimate atrocity. But children are vulnerable to short and long-term consequences in general. The evidence tells us that there is no acceptable amount of time for a child to be place in detention. All of us — physicians from all specialties and disciplines, including our professional medical organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Medical Association — agree on this point. We have outlined the myriad ways that children suffer when detained, especially if they are separated from their parents. A number of children have died in federal custody, some have become ill and it is clear that all are at risk for developing lifelong psychological harm. Many of the children have experienced trauma before coming the U.S., as well as during their journey to this country, and their trauma is compounded by being kept in cages, separated from family and familiar adults, and without the basic conditions needed to their physical and emotional development.
Solution text goes here.
Our Strategy to Win this Campaign
Along with our a strong coalition supporting this campaign, we plan on submitting an administrative petition to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
An administrative is a legal document requesting a specific rule change that administrative agencies, like the DHS, must reply to within a set period of time. This is what a sample administrative petition looks like:
Early Campaign Supporters
We're happy to announce that the following individuals and organizations have already signed on to support our campaign:
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Make a difference and support this campaign.
This campaign was started by a concerned community member and in order to succeed, we rely on the support of others in community, just like you. You simply add your name to the list of supporters, or you can also make a pledge to fund the campaign. Your pledge will only be charged if enough people support this campaign.
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