Support the Safety of Immigrant Children
LWV of Illinois has issued this action alert, which is supported by LWV Wisconsin.
Submit a public comment by November 6 to the US Department of Homeland Security opposing a rule change to the Flores Settlement Agreement. The rule change would be harmful to immigrant children in detention. See more below under "Why It Matters."
Submit your comment before the November 6 deadline. Please include the docket number, "DHS Docket No. ICEB-2018-0002," for any of these following options for submitting comments:
Federal eRulemaking Portal (preferred): https://www.regulations.gov.
Follow the website instructions for submitting comments.
Include DHS Docket No. ICEB-2018-0002 in the subject line of the message.
Debbie Seguin, Assistant Director, Office of Policy
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Department of Homeland Security
500 12th Street SW
Washington, DC 20536.
To ensure proper handling, include DHS Docket No. ICEB-2018-0002 in your correspondence. Mail must be postmarked by the comment submission deadline.
I urge you to defend and implement in full the Flores Settlement Agreement. The 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement protects children and ensures that they are safe and treated humanely while in detention. It requires them to be held in the least restrictive setting possible and sets a preference for family unity. The Flores Settlement Agreement limits the time a child can be detained to 20 days.
The regulation currently being proposed would be harmful to immigrant children and families seeking refuge in the United States. Detention for any length of time is inhumane and unsafe for children. The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that even short periods of detention can lead to increased stress, developmental delay, and psychological trauma. Longer detentions and weakened protections would be devastating. Detention is no place for children.
WHY IT MATTERS:
LWV Immigration position states that immigration policies should promote family reunification and should be responsive to those facing political persecution or a humanitarian crisis. The Flores Settlement Agreement limits the detention of immigrant children to 20 days and establishes basic protections, such as requirements for sanitation, living conditions, and adequate food/water for those immigrant children in detention. The Department of Homeland Security is proposing new regulations that would replace and undermine the intentions and safeguards of the Flores Settlement Agreement. These proposed regulations would put children at greater risk because of prolonged detentions, longer family separations, and decreased protections.