Princeton, NJ
Informing and Connecting Engaged Citizens
July 06, 2015
Detaining Children and Families is Still the Wrong Policy

It’s been over a year since the Obama Administration massively expanded the practice of family detention in response to the influx of unaccompanied minors and families fleeing to the U.S. from Central America. Despite largely ending the practice of detaining families in 2009, three new facilities were opened last year, including the largest family detention center in U.S. history in Dilley, TX, with capacity for 2,400 beds. Since last summer, more than 4,800 individuals have been booked into prison-like facilities throughout the country, primarily young mothers and their children. Perhaps most troubling is that these families continue to be treated as threats to national security despite the fact that recent USCIS statistics document that 88 percent of detained mothers and children have valid asylum claims and that the average age of a child in family detention is just 6-years-old.

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