from Never Give Up! Minoru Yasui and the Fight for Justice.
Photo: Getty Images.
A letter sent to members of Congress and several newspapers, regarding the recent order by federal Judge Dolly Gee mandating ICE to release children from their detention centers:
I am moved to write because of an urgent situation regarding children held in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Last Friday, June 26, Judge Dolly Gee ordered ICE to immediately (by July 15) release all children from its detention facilities due to the dangers of COVID-19. Since this mandate is based on the Flores Agreement, which protects children in government custody, it applies only to minors, not adults. Unless ICE agrees to release adults along with their children, many boys and girls will be taken away from their parents under duress, a replay of the cruel family separation policy that caused such outrage in 2018 that President Trump signed an Executive Order to end it at the border.
Please, we cannot allow a policy of family separation to be implemented by our government again – it is no less cruel to take children from their parents in detention centers than at the border, and perhaps even more dangerous for both parents and children given the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Judge Gee’s order, ICE does have the discretion to release the children with their families. We must support and even demand that option be implemented, a more humane and fair alternative to cruel and unnecessary family separation which almost all Americans oppose.