On Wednesday, May 27, Congressional representatives Zoe Lofgren, Lucille Roybal-Allard, and Luis Gutierrez along with 133 other House Democrats sent a letter to the Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson asking that the department end the use of family detention.
Citing the work of the Dean of Social Work at the University of Texas, Dr. Luis Zayas, who interviewed families at the Karnes Residential Detention Center, the Congressional representatives concluded that children require special protections and should not be jailed.
Earlier in the month, Congresswoman Roybal-Allard, along with Representatives Lofgren and Gutierrez, called for the Department of Homeland Security to end the immigrant family detention program saying, “For a country that prides itself on valuing children and family, it truly is unconscionable that the United States of America would detain children and their mothers in conditions that experts tell us are having a serious and long-lasting impact on their psychological health and physical well-being.”
And on May 15, the New York Times editorial board called for an end to immigrant family detention.
The calls to end immigrant detention from advocates and now from a large segment of the Democratic congressional delegation will force the contenders for the Democratic nomination for the president to pay closer attention to this human rights crisis. Back on May 5 in Nevada, Hillary Clinton stated, “I don’t think we should put children and vulnerable people into big detention facilities.”
Photo credit: Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez Facebook page