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Save the Children Breaking News Graphic

Biden Administration's Reported Consideration of Family Detention Raises Concerns for Children's Wellbeing

Washington, D.C. (March 8, 2023) - Save the Children is extremely concerned by the recent reporting by The New York Times that the Biden administration is considering a return to family detention as part of its immigration processing. In response, Save the Children issued the following statement:

“Detention, particularly prolonged detention, has been shown to cause lasting harm and trauma to children, who are among the most impacted by the immigration system,” said Christy Gleason, Vice President for Policy, Advocacy and Campaign at Save the Children. “The potential implications of family detention on children’s wellbeing cannot be overstated.”

"We cannot repeat the same mistakes from the past. The Biden administration must prioritize alternatives to detention that are humane and uphold children's rights. We urge the administration to ensure that the best interests of children are at the forefront of any immigration policy decisions and to move away from punitive measures meant to deter asylum seekers from seeking safety and security in the U.S."

“Alternatives to detention, such as community-based programs, have been proven to be effective and are more cost-efficient than detention. These programs prioritize the wellbeing and safety of families while ensuring compliance with immigration processes. As a leading child protection organization, we welcome the opportunity to work with the administration to craft programs that are responsive to the needs of children instead of inflicting additional harm to children already fleeing trauma and violence.”

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding more than 100 years ago, we've been advocating for the rights of children worldwide. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming the future we share. Our results, financial statements and charity ratings reaffirm that Save the Children is a charity you can trust. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.