As reported during the December holidays, there is concern that the Administration is seeking to split up families at the boarder using child separation as a deterrent. CWLA has joined onto a joint letter by concerned groups in calling on Homeland Security to reject such policies.

The new administration policy would allow for a policy where immigrant children of a certain age (possibly all girls and boys 10 and older) will be taken from their parents at the border by Homeland Security officials. The parents will be jailed in immigration facilities and/or summarily deported, while the children will be transferred to Health & Human Services facilities across the country—hundreds of miles or countries away from their parents.

In the letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen the groups states:

“HHS would bear the responsibility of caring for the traumatized children and finding suitable, alternative caregivers. These children could remain in government care for months or more than a year, during which time the continued separation from their parents would compound their trauma and the time it would take them to recover and return to a trajectory of good health and normal development. Nor would it make any sense to require those children to participate in a formal legal proceeding about their immigration case while separated from the parent who brought them here, who may have critical information—or the only information—about the child’s claim for protection.”

In December, the Washington Post reported that the Trump Administration is considering a policy to separate children from their families as a deterrent to new increases in the number of children crossing the border to avoid serious harm in their Central American countries.