By Cheasty Anderson and Marianna Montes Moreno
We are proud to announce the release of the report From Guards to Guardians: Healthy Community Alternatives to Immigrant Detention, written in partnership with Dr. Luis H. Zayas, Dean of the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin. This report aims to highlight the long-term impact of detention on children’s and parents’ mental health, and urges the Biden administration to take immediate action “to make the migration process less harmful, less traumatizing, and safe for children and their families.”
One of the major immigration promises that Biden has yet to keep is to end the detention of migrant families by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). However, it is clear that more must be done in order to sway the administration toward the outcome we need. Just two months ago, a senior ICE official said at the beginning of March: “We are not ending family detention. We are not closing the family detention centers.” This is unacceptable.
As advocates, one of our priorities must be pushing the federal government to fully commit to ending family detention, and instead embracing, funding, and utilizing community-based alternatives to detention. President Biden has been in office for more than 100 days now and we must push him harder to keep his promises and create meaningful real change in our immigration system.
- Anderson, Cheasty et al. “From Guards to Guardians: Healthy Community Alternatives to Immigrant Detention.”Children’s Defense Fund -Texas, May 12, 2021.
- Ainsley, Julia. “Five Major Immigration Promises Biden Has Yet to Keep.” NBC News, Apr. 21, 2021.
- Ainsley, Julia. “Despite Court Filings and Public Rhetoric, Official Says Biden Administration Is ‘Not Ending Family Detention’.” NBC News, Mar. 9, 2021.
- American Civil Liberties Union. “ACLU Calls on Biden Administration to Shut Down ICE Detention Facilities.”, Apr. 28, 2021.
- Rodriguez, Sabrina. “Biden Promised a ‘Fair and Humane’ Immigration Overhaul. What He Inherited Is a Mess.” POLITICO, Feb. 26, 2021.