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Detention Watch Network Encouraged to See Families Released, But Concerned with Dehumanizing Alternatives Proposed

July 14, 2015

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For Immediate Release: July 14, 2015

Contact: Molly Haigh : molly@fitzgibbonmedia.com

Detention Watch Network Encouraged to See Families Released,

But Concerned with Dehumanizing Alternatives Proposed

Statement from Silky Shah, Co-Director of the Detention Watch Network in response to yesterday’s announcement on family detention issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement:

“Under increasing pressure, the Obama administration is finally taking steps to limit the prolonged incarceration of mothers and children. The detention system is rife with human rights abuses, appalling medical care lapses, and glaring due process violations. By the government’s own measure, the vast majority of detained women and children should be treated as refugees and immediately released.

Instead, while ICE has finally acknowledged that they should not continue a blanket policy of detaining mothers and children who have a legitimate fear of returning to their countries of origin, ICE has simply replaced one blanket decision with another–this time to fit all mothers with unnecessary and dehumanizing ankle GPS monitoring devices.

In the limited number of cases where additional support is needed, ICE should focus instead on community support programs that do not further traumatize families. Rather than piling on multiple onerous conditions for release that will waste more taxpayer dollars.

The Obama administration’s family detention policy has been an embarrassing stain on America’s human rights record. Yesterday’s announcement signals a move away from mere rhetoric and toward actual release for some detained mothers and children, but even if implemented fully, fails to truly address the problem this administration created for itself last year.  It is time to close all family detention centers and end this painful chapter once and for all.”

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Detention Watch Network (DWN) is a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to expose and challenge the injustices of the U.S. immigration detention and deportation system and advocate for profound change that promotes the rights and dignity of all persons.

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