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Imminent Raids on Immigrant Families Sow Fear, Threaten Children’s Health and Wellbeing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 21, 2019

CONTACT: Cheasty Anderson, Senior Policy Associate, CDF-Texas

canderson@childrensdefense.org

 

AUSTIN—Children’s Defense Fund-Texas is disturbed by recent reports of imminent raids on immigrant families expected to start as early as this Sunday, June 23. Houston is one of the cities where raids are expected. These actions are the Trump Administration’s latest attempt intentionally terrorize immigrant communities, with direct consequences for children, youth and families.

The threat of these raids, taken together with recent reports of the cruel and inhumane treatment of migrant children in U.S. detention facilities located in Texas, reflects the administration’s broad and persistent efforts to sow fear among immigrants. We know that these raids cause long-term harm to children’s health and wellbeing, including U.S. citizen children. Research shows that children who witness a parent’s arrest, particularly in a home setting, are more likely to suffer mental health and behavioral problems.

We are deeply concerned that the children and youth caught up in these raids—some of whom are U.S. citizens—will be the latest victims of an administration that has shown little compassion for even the most vulnerable. The administration has proven time and again that it is unwilling to meet even the most basic needs of families and unaccompanied children in detention. Earlier this week attorney Sarah Fabian, arguing for the Department of Justice, claimed that the feds have no requirement to provide even the most basic hygiene supplies to children, such as soap and toothbrushes. After all, this is the same administration that ripped babies from their parents’ arms just over a year ago through its deplorable zero-tolerance policy and continues to lock up thousands of asylum-seeking children and youth in makeshift tent cities.

The consequences of massive raids extend far beyond those who are apprehended or arrested. Large-scale enforcement actions inflict chaos, fear, and instability on entire communities. We urge the Administration to stop separating families and intimidating immigrant communities.

Children’s Defense Fund-Texas calls on Congress to refuse to fund Trump’s mass deportation plan by ensuring that ICE and CBP are not given additional resources to apprehend, lock up, separate, and deport children, youth, and families. Instead, we call for increased funding to nonprofits and community-based organizations that provide legal and other resources to support asylum-seekers. We also urge state and local officials to speak out against this proposal and equip their communities with the resources they need to understand and exercise their constitutional rights.

 

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About Children’s Defense Fund

The Children’s Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.

The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) is a non-profit child advocacy organization that has worked relentlessly since its inception in 1973 to ensure a level playing field for all children. CDF champions policies and programs that lift children out of poverty; protect them from abuse and neglect; and ensure their access to health care, quality education, and a moral and spiritual foundation.

 

2019-06-21T16:27:03-06:00June 21st, 2019|
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