More Than 200 Experts in Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice Oppose Government Plans to Take Children From Parents at Border

Photo by Caroline Hernandez

Photo by Caroline Hernandez

On Tuesday, January 23, more than 200 child welfare, juvenile justice, and child development organizations released a letter calling on the Administration to abandon plans to forcibly separate children from their mothers and fathers at the U.S. border. By all accounts, the Administration hopes to deter vulnerable families from around the world from seeking protection at the U.S. border—which is their right under U.S. and international law—by separating families, deporting parents, and placing their children in federal custody. 

On Tuesday, January 16, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and she refused to rule out implementing this proposed policy. We know that this policy would have significant and long-lasting consequences for the safety, health, development, and well-being of children. Children need to be cared for by their parents to be safe and healthy, to grow and develop. Forced separation disrupts the parent-child relationship and puts children at increased risk for both physical and mental illness.  The Administration's plan would eviscerate the principle of family unity and put children in harm’s way.

The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights is deeply grateful for this strong show of support from organizations that have spent decades fighting to make sure every child is safe, cared for, and loved. We encourage you to lend your voice to their effort, and join them in calling on the Administration to abandon its plans to take children from their parents.

Read the full letter here.

National Organizations
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities
American Academy of Pediatrics
Campaign for Youth Justice
Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities
Center for Children’s Law and Policy
Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
Center for the Study of Social Policy
Child Welfare League of America
Children’s Advocacy Institute
Children’s Defense Fund
Coalition for Juvenile Justice
Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund
Dorothy Day Catholic Worker
Every Mother is a Working Mother Network
Family Focused Treatment Association
Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice & Research
First Focus
First Star Institute
Foster Care Alumni of America
Futures Without Violence
Generations United
Healthy Teen Network
Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative
Justice Policy Institute
Juvenile Law Center
National Alliance of Children's Trust Funds
National Association for Children’s Behavioral Health
National Association of Counsel for Children
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
National Association of Social Workers
National Center for Housing and Child Welfare
National Center for Parent Leadership, Advocacy, and Community Empowerment
National Center for Youth Law
National Center on Adoption and Permanency
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
National Crittenton Foundation
National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Indian Child Welfare Association
National Juvenile Defender Center
National Juvenile Justice Network
North American Council on Adoptable Children
Partnership for America’s Children
Robert F Kennedy Children’s Action Corps
School Social Work Association of America
The Children’s Village
The Sentencing Project
Voices for Adoption
W. Haywood Burns Institute
Year Up
Youth Advocate Programs (YAP)
Youth Law Center

State and Local Organizations
A New Leaf (AZ)
Advocates for Children and Youth (MD)
AIDS Foundation of Chicago (IL)
Alaska Children's Trust
All Faiths Children’s Advocacy Center (NM)
Allendale Association (IL)
Alliance for Childhood Education (KS, MO)
Arden Shore Child and Family Services (IL)
Bronx Defenders (NY)
Brooklyn Defender Services (NY)
California Department of Social Services
Catholic Charities Community Maternity Services (NY)
Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare at the University of Minnesota
Center for Children’s Advocacy, Inc. (CT)
Center for Family Representation (NY)
Center on Halsted (IL)
Chicago Children's Advocacy Center (IL)
Chicago Survivors
Child and Family Policy Center (IA)
Child and Family Resources (AZ)
Child and Family Services (NY)
Child Welfare Organizing Project (NY)
Children’s Action Alliance (AZ)
Children’s Advocacy Alliance (NV) 
Children’s Defense Fund - Texas
Children’s Law Center of Minnesota
Children’s Place Association (IL)
Children's Law Center (DC)
Children's Service Society (UT)
CHRIS 180 (GA)
Citizens' Committee for Children of New York, Inc. (NY)
Citizens for Juvenile Justice (MA)
Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (NY)
Committee for Public Counsel Services (MA)
Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois (IL)
Community Chest, Inc (NV)
Connecticut Alliance of Foster and Adoptive Families, Inc
Connecticut Association for Human Services
Connecticut Voices for Children
Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies (NY)
County Welfare Directors Association of California (CA)
Duane Dean Behavioral Health Services (IL)
EPIC ‘Ohana
Esperanza Health Centers (IL)
EverThrive Illinois
Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children
Families First (GA)
Family to Family Connection, ISD 13 (NV)
Family Violence Appellate Project (CA)
Forefront (IL)
Forestdale, Inc. (NY)
Foster Adopt Connect (MO, KS)
Foster Care Alumni of America-Illinois Chapter
Foster Change (NV)
Foster Kinship (NV)
Harriet Buhai Center for Family Law (CA)
Heartland for Children (FL)
Heartland Human Care Services (IL, MI)
Hillsides (CA)
Hispanic Caucus (NV)
Identity, Inc. (MD)
Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition
Illinois Collaboration on Youth
Illinois Partners for Human Service
Illinois PTA
Illinois Public Health Association
Illinois Public Health Institute
Instituto del Progreso Latino (IL)
Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity (CA)
Juvenile Justice Initiative of Illinois
Juvenile Protective Association (IL)
Juvenile Restorative Justice, Inc. (KY)
Kaleidoscope (IL)
Kansas Action for Children
Kansas Appleseed
Kansas Association for the Education of Young Children
Kansas Head Start Association
Kids Forward (WI)
Kids in Common, a program of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte (CA)
Kingsley House (LA)
Legal Council for Health Justice (IL)
Legal Services for Children (CA)
Lower Roxbury Coalition (MA)
Loyola University Chicago Civitas Childlaw Center (IL)
Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest
Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin
Maine Children’s Alliance
Make it Work Nevada
Martin de Porres Group Homes (NY)
Mary’s Center (DC)
Maryville Academy (IL)
Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MA)
MercyFirst (NY)
Methodist Children's Home Society (MI)
Metropolitan Family Services (IL)
Michigan’s Children
Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (MD)
National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Connecticut Chapter
National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Illinois Chapter
National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Kentucky Chapter
National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Massachusetts Chapter
National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Michigan Chapter
National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Minnesota Chapter
National Association of Social Workers (NASW) New Jersey Chapter
National Association of Social Workers (NASW) New Mexico Chapter
National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Tennessee Chapter
National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Texas Chapter
NC Child
New Jersey Parents Caucus, Inc
New Mexico Voices for Children
New York City Administration for Children's Services
Northern River Family of Services (NY)
One Hope United (IL, FL, MO, WI)
OneJustice (CA)
Ounce of Prevention Fund (IL)
Prevent Child Abuse Arizona (AZ)
Pride Inc., Pride Manchester, Inc., Pride Wilton, Inc. (ND)
PromiseShip (NE)
Rhode Island Coalition for Children and Families
Rhode Island KIDS COUNT
Rincon Family Services (IL)
San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program (CA)
Schuyler Center for Analysis & Advocacy (NY)
Southwest Key Programs (AZ, CA, FL, NY, TX, WI)
SPAN Parent Advocacy Network (NJ)
Starfish Family Homes (IL)
Sunny Hills Services (CA)
Texans Care for Children
The Adoption Exchange (CO, NV, UT)
The Children 's Home Society of New Jersey
The Children’s Partnership (CA)
The Foster and Adoption Coalition of Nevada
The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada
The Hills Preschool (NV)
The Law Foundation of Silicon Valley (CA)
The Villages of Indiana, Inc.
Three Rivers Adoption Council (PA)
Thresholds (IL)
Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (IL)
United Community Services of Johnson County (KS)
Voice for Children in Nebraska
Voices for Children of San Antonio (TX)
Voices for Georgia's Children
Voices for Illinois Children
VOICES Youth Centers (CA)
Wayfinder Family Services (CA)
Whittier Street Health Center (MA)
Wisconsin Association of Family & Children's Agencies (WI)
Youth Employment Coalition (IL)
Youth Justice Coalition (CA)
Youth Service, Inc. (PA)
Youth, Rights and Justice (OR)

Maddie Witters