Trump Administration Wants To Imprison Immigrant Children Indefinitely. Brown’s Bill Would Stop It.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Anthony G. Brown (MD-04) released the following statement after learning the Trump administration was moving to circumvent limits on the government’s ability to hold minors in immigration jails by withdrawing from the Flores Settlement Agreement.
“The Trump administration is fighting desperately for the ability to keep immigrant children in prison – including infants and toddlers. It's abhorrent, it's un-American, and we can't sit idly by while our government tries to indefinitely jail children.
“Our immigration system doesn't have to operate this way. There are effective alternatives that keep families together out of detention, and allow the legal process to move forward. Alternatives to detention have a 95% compliance rate, including ICE’s now shut-down Family Case Management Program which had 99% compliance rate.
“Family detention is also expensive – and can cost up to 60 times more than alternatives to detention. Alternatives to detention prevent the trauma of detention, keep families together, and cost the government far less than mass incarceration.
“That's why I have introduced the Alternatives to Detention Act of 2018 to compel the government to release vulnerable immigrant detainees into alternatives to detention. We must take action if we ever want to reform our broken immigration system. Either we continue to follow the President's anti-immigrant, anti-family, partisan, nativist agenda, or we make choices that keep families together and improve our broken immigration system.”
The Alternatives to Detention Act of 2018 would require the Department of Homeland Security to put all detained children, elderly, victims of domestic violence, persecuted religious or ethnic minorities, primary caregivers, and other vulnerable populations into alternatives to detention programs within 48 hours of being detained. It also allows the executive branch to appoint a cross-agency coordinator to oversee both the alternatives to detention programs as well as the reunification of families separated by the Trump administration. Learn more about the Congressman’s legislation here.