Our reports on women, children and families in immigration detention have led to changes in immigration policy and practice in the U.S. Read our landmark studies that have resulted in these changes.
In the summer of 2014, with an increase in the number of mothers and children fleeing violence and persecution in Central America, the Obama Administration returned to the widely discredited and costly practice of family detention. In this report, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) and the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC), have collaborated to show the harm family detention causes and outline sensible alternatives.
This report and its resources are available in English and Spanish below.
This toolkit is for detained and deported immigrant and undocumented parents, as well as their allies: officials, attorneys, service providers, friends and family members. It provides crucial information they need to protect and maintain parental rights and make well-informed, critical decisions regarding the care and welfare of their children. It includes information on how to get a lawyer, how to stay in touch with children, and how to participate in family court or child welfare hearings.
This version of the complete toolkit is designed for digital use.
This version of the complete toolkit is optimized for printing.
This is a condensed and simplified version of the toolkit, providing brief and essential information.
Esta versión se ha optimizado para uso digital.
Esta versión se ha optimizado para la impresión.
Esta es una versión de la guía resumida y simplificada , que proporciona información breve y esencial.
Violence in three Central American countries is the primary reason behind a dramatic upsurge in the number of unaccompanied immigrant children crossing the border into the United States, and until conditions in these countries change substantially, this trend will be the new norm. The U.S. government is responsible for protecting children who are apprehended alone or without caregivers but has struggled to deal with the influx.
On Wednesday, January 14th, the Women’s Refugee Commission, the American Immigration Lawyers Association , and National Immigrant Justice Center held a press call to discuss the organizations’ visit to the largest and newest immigration detention center for mothers and children in the country.
The 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement sets national standards regarding the detention, release and treatment of all children -- including those held with their parents -- in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).
This document, produced by the Women's Refugee Commission, LIRS and KIND, provides greater detail of the requirements DHS must meet in order to comply with the terms of the Flores agreement, and provides an assessment of current compliance with Flores protections for children in DHS custody.
Since 2012 and increasing in the spring of 2014, thousands of migrant families and children have fled violence and organized crime in Central America by fleeing to the U.S. The vast majority of families arriving at the border are made up of women with very young children. The U.S. government has responded by instituting a dangerous and inhumane policy of family detention and a summary deportation process known as expedited removal. This document outlines the history of family detention in the United States, why detention is inappropriate for this population, key facts about families seeking protection, as well as solutions and alternatives to detention.
New Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) decision recognizes domestic violence as the basis for asylum: Recently, the BIA issued an important decision that recognizes that women who are victims of domestic violence may be deemed a “member of a particular social group” which could be the basis of a successful asylum claim. The case, Matter of A-R-C-G-, could potentially help some of the Central American women and children who are fleeing domestic violence and arriving at the Southwest border.
Washington, DC – Refugee, policy and legal experts held a press call today to review the Obama Administration’s emergency supplemental request to respond to the increase in children fleeing Central America and seeking protection in the United States (as well as other countries in the region).
Immigration enforcement is on the rise. Immigrant parents can and should take steps to prepare for the possibility of separation from their children. This will increase the likelihood that they can reunify with their children if they are detained or deported.
Please note that this information is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is always advisable to seek the assistance of an attorney. If you try to access government services (including applying for a passport, talking with your children’s school or going before a court) you could risk arrest if your state has passed anti-immigrant legislation. Please make decisions carefully and, if possible, ask someone with legal status to help you.
Immigrant parents can and should take steps to prepare for the possibility of separation from their children. This will increase the likelihood that they can reunify with their children if they are detained or deported.
Los padres inmigrantes pueden y deben tomar pasos para prepararse para la posibilidad de separación de sus hijos. Esto aumentará la probabilidad de que puedan reunirse con sus hijos si son detenidos o expulsados.
This easy-to-use guide provides parents with basic steps they can take to protect their parental rights; information on family court proceedings, parent-child visitation and coordinating care of children; and helpful ICE resources for detainees. ICE has made this guide available in the law libraries of all immigration detention facilities housing adults for more than 72 hours.
The amount of money the federal government spends on immigration enforcement has skyrocketed in recent years. It now spends more on immigration enforcement than on all major federal criminal law enforcement agencies combined. Read more...