Act now! Stop DHS from jailing children and families indefinitely. | Physicians for Human Rights
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Act now! Stop DHS from jailing children and families indefinitely.

The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services are taking steps to REMOVE limits on how long children can be detained in U.S. detention centers.

The evidence and the science that prove family detention and family separation have tangible negative short- and long-term health impacts on children is well-documented. Still, officials are willfully ignoring the research, and moving toward policies that further endanger the health and well-being of children and their asylum-seeking parents.

Take action NOW to STOP the expansion of family detention at the U.S. border.

Below is a template of what you can say in your comment. Please add your own words so that your comment is personalized. Please specify your health background and mention any relevant expertise and experience with asylum seekers, traumatized populations, children and families, etc.

You MUST personalize your comment. DHS is will not consider duplicate messages before proceeding with the proposed rule change.

Your Message
Stop Family Detention
Dear U.S. Department of Homeland Security,

I am deeply concerned by the medical harms that will result from the rule change proposed by the government, which degrades standards for detained children and parents. Detention of children, for any reason, is a violation of their human rights and will expose them to grave risks to their health and well-being.

The guise of ending separation of families by detaining children and parents together fails to address the greater issue – that detention of children harms their mental and physical health.

• Limiting the duration of detention of children to 20 days, the current standard under Flores, is critical. Prolonged detention increases the risk of serious health problems, including severe and chronic anxiety, depression, suicide, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

• Eliminating the current requirement of state licensure will dangerously increase health risks to children held in these facilities because there will be no accountability or oversight for the conditions of confinement, including access to medical care.

I strongly advocate that the government expand the least restrictive alternatives to detention. Access to health care and other critical services is best facilitated through the placement of children and families in the community; studies have proven that individuals in case management programs have a high rate of compliance with immigration proceedings.

I urge the government to consider the damage to the health and safety of children caused by indefinite detention. I insist that any rulemaking by the Department of Homeland Security respect the protections of the Flores settlement: time limits on child detention and state licensing standards for quality of care.

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