BACKGROUND: Central American children continue to flee rampant violence in their countries. Some travel to the United States seeking refuge and are placed under the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), a program of the US Department of Health and Human Services. The number of arriving children has well exceeded ORR’s projections for the fiscal year.
In a recent message, Pope Francis called for compassion for and care of these children: “Such an humanitarian emergency demands as its first measure the urgent protection and properly taking in of the children.” In an effort to adequately respond to this humanitarian crisis, it is paramount that we:
Oppose proposals that would roll back protections that were enacted as part of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2008, undermining due process protections for unaccompanied children arriving from non-contiguous countries, and
Support funding for legal representation for children; the placement of families in community-based settings with vital social services, rather than detention facilities; and addressing the root causes of flight.
ACTION: Please urge your U.S. Senator and U.S. Representative to oppose legislative efforts to strip protections away from unaccompanied children and to support supplemental funding for the protection of vulnerable children and other refugees.
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