DOJ’s Shameful Attempt to Pretty up Family Detention Comes up Woefully Short
Washington, DC – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the American Immigration Council (Council) are outraged by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) response to U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee’s ruling on the mass incarceration of children and mothers seeking asylum in the U.S.
Victor Nieblas Pradis, AILA President, stated, “The response from DOJ to Judge Gee’s recent ruling is no more than bad play-acting at compliance. Truly, they should be embarrassed to submit such a document to a court of law. Ever since Judge Gee first threatened her order, the Administration has been scrambling to quickly release some of the mothers and children, and they’ve bungled the process badly, leaving in detention many women and children who have been locked up way too long. The government’s protest that ‘we’ve fixed things, we promise’ rings hollow when the sharp light of reality shines on the detention centers. Our volunteer attorneys on the ground with the CARA* project see the truth every day, and know that it is not reflected in this shameful document. They know, and have submitted case after case to ICE, of the children and mothers confined for extended periods, waiting for someone to act on their cases. This injustice must end.”
“ICE’s frantic attempts to release some mothers and children do not provide the due process guaranteed by our Constitution and the proper care of children required by the Flores settlement,” said Melissa Crow, Legal Director of the Council. She continued, “The government’s ongoing violations of the rights of detained mothers and children belie DOJ’s claims about the impact of DHS’s current policies and procedures. Despite the government’s claims that things have changed, the fact remains that incarcerating asylum seekers is contrary to our laws and values, and detaining children is reprehensible. Instead of arguing about which traumatic facets of detention they are improving, they need to end it once and for all.”