House Democrats to DHS: Immigrant children should not be put in jail-like facilities
A total of 136 out of the 188 Democrats in the House of Representatives sent Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson a letter to end the use of family detention centers, where mothers and children await adjudication of their asylum and immigration cases.
According to the legislators, DHS “has not fully grasped the serious harm being inflicted upon mothers and children” who are being held in “jail-like” facilities with poor or non-existent medical care.
“We cannot continue to hear reports of serious harm to children in custody and do nothing about it,” reads the letter. “We have an opportunity to do the right thing and are confident that DHS has the capacity to honor our nation’s longstanding commitment both to the protection and well-being of refugee families and to law enforcement and public safety.”
The letter is spearheaded by Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA), Zoe Lofgren (CA) and Luis Gutiérrez (IL), who last week were joined by other House Democrats at a Capitol Hill press conference calling for an end to family detention.