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August 7, 2019

The whole child separation travesty is pointless
By Clara Long and Elora Mukherjee

Writing a blank check to expand detention space does not solve child abuse at the border. If members of Congress are serious about protecting children, they will change their approach for the coming year's Department of Homeland Security budget and pass legislation in September setting standards of care for children in custody. First, Congress should direct immigration agencies to make release of asylum seekers, rather than detention, the norm. Instead, the administration abruptly terminated the ICE Family Case Management Program in June 2017, despite Congressional funding, demonstrated cost-savings, and high compliance rates. Congress should mandate its reinstatement. Even asylum-seeking families without legal representation or access to the ICE Family Case Management Program overwhelmingly attend their hearings: 81.6% for the initial hearings and 76% for all their hearings, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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