DHS Advisory Committee's Recommendations Are Harmful to Immigrant Children

Earlier this year, the Customs and Border Protection Families and Children Care Panel of the Homeland Security Advisory Committee (HSAC) asked to speak with organizations including the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights about conditions for children in CBP custody. Our team agreed to meet with HSAC members in the hope of persuading them to focus on improving the care and protection of children in the custody of Customs & Border Protection (CBP). In late April, HSAC members released a report that not only excluded our recommendations, but contradicted our advice and ignored longstanding child protection principles.

In response, we joined with the American Academy of Pediatrics, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops/Migration and Refugee Services, the Women’s Refugee Commission in a letter to the HSAC members voicing our concerns. Our letter brings particular attention to the need to protect children as they are processed and held in CBP custody, to ensure appropriate medical care and screening of children, and to ensure that children have access to fair proceedings, and to seek asylum—their rights under U.S. law.

This week, the Young Center’s policy team spoke with the National Journal about our frustration with the HSAC members’ failure to note the opposing viewpoints of the groups with which they consulted. We will continue to oppose the recommendations included in their report, and collaborate with other advocates for children to prevent the implementation of its harmful recommendations.

Click here to read our joint letter about the problems in the Homeland Security Advisory Committee’s report.

Click here to read National Journal’s article including insights from Young Center’s policy team.

Maddie Witters