April 05, 2018

Feinstein Statement on Protections for Unaccompanied Immigrant Children

WashingtonSenator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement in reaction to the Trump administration’s call for repeal of protections for unaccompanied immigrant children:

            “The Trump administration has called for the repeal of protections for unaccompanied immigrant children, derisively calling them ‘loopholes.’

            “Having worked on this issue for years and authored the law creating these protections, I can say, without a doubt, that the law governing the placement of children is not a loophole. This law was intended to provide the most basic humanitarian protections and due process rights for young children who arrive at our borders alone, and that’s what it does.

            “Before we enacted these protections, unaccompanied immigrant children often were not treated humanely by our federal government and languished in immigration detention. Young children could be detained with convicted murderers.

            “Children must now be transferred from the custody of the Border Patrol to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is better equipped to care for young children, and allowed to make their asylum case in court. 

            “These children are not required to be released and can be detained when necessary. Giving children fleeing horrific violence and poverty the opportunity to make their case in court and holding them in facilities designed to care for them are not loopholes. These policies uphold our country’s values, and I will strongly oppose efforts to change these laws.”

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