The WRC recently made a trip to to the new detention facilities in Dilley, Texas, and spoke with dozens of migrant families there. More than ever, it was clear that family detention is an inhumane, and financially wasteful policy.
Far more families are being detained after seeking safety in the U.S., and they're being held for far longer: 6 months, a year, or more. The effects on their well-being are tragic, especially for children. Advocates, including the WRC, are challenging the legality of this extended detention.
With many Syrian men are separated, fighting or killed, women become leaders and protectors. “In every conflict situation, there is a disruption of gender roles,” says Dale Buscher of the WRC, “Displacement creates new opportunities for a more gender-equitable society.”
The economic and social implications of gender inequality in nationality laws can prove dire for women and their children.
As migration enforcement tightens, vulnerable migrant children are being driven further from safe routes and into the cars of kidnappers.
By acknowledging refugee sex workers and establishing support protocols, we better ensure that their rights — to safety, health, information and dignity — are respected.
Up to 80% of the women and girls fleeing Central America are sexually assaulted during the journey. Once here, they may be prevented from receiving legal contraception and abortion.
"...each child deserves the opportunity of stating his or her story before it is decided if he or she can continue to stay or must return to his or her country of origin."
"While Nadine's injuries keep her from being able to leave the house, adequately look after her household, or take on a job, they fall outside the narrow definition of "life-threatening" that donors have adopted." As a result, refugees with disabilities are left more vulnerable than ever.
"Estimates suggest that anywhere between 60 and 80 percent of migrant women and girls are raped on their journey as they travel across the southern United States border." Adequate sexual and reproductive health care is absolutely necessary for these women and girls.
This year, the U.S. won't see waves of children and mothers from South America--but not because they're no longer flee violence. Rather, increased deportations in Mexico and family detention in the U.S. keep them far from the media's lens.
"DHS is not fulfilling its obligations to these children. Children are still held by CBP inshort-term border facilities that lack enforceable standards and are notorious for their cold temperatures, lack of beds, inadequate food, and completely inappropriate hygiene facilities."
Detainees confined at a newly opened immigrant family jail have few due process protections... The first family was deported from the jail Tuesday, January 13, only a day after the detainees received their first legal orientation in which they were briefed on their legal right to seek asylum.
"We are extremely disappointed and dismayed by the Administration's decision to continue using detention in an effort to deter and discourage women and children fleeing violence and abuse in their home countries from seeking protection in the United States," said the Women's Refugee Commission's Katharina Obser.
Katharina Obser, program officer in the Migrant Rights and Justice Program for WRC, said many families at Dilley had faced persecution, violence and trauma and sought safety in the U.S. Obser said she was told 80 percent of the population at Dilley expressed fears of returning to their native country.
"These families in Dilley consist primarily of traumatized asylum-seeking mothers and children who don’t pose a public security risk and are still fundamentally deprived of liberty," said Katharina Obser with the Women’s Refugee Commission. "They cannot leave. They are subject to head counts every three hours, and that includes guards walking into their rooms in the middle of the night, and they have no idea when they might be released and in many cases what will happen with their cases."
"It’s been a heartbreaking week for children and mothers fleeing violence and seeking asylum in the United States. Continuing the unprecedented expansion of family detention in less than a year, on Monday Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson traveled to the tiny town of Dilley, Texas to inaugurate our country’s newest and soon-to-be largest immigration detention center. Meanwhile, Karnes County, Texas commissioners voted to more than double the number of beds to lock up families in Karnes City’s private, for-profit family detention center. These detainees are mothers, toddlers, and babies, many of whom have fled unspeakable terror and trauma, and who pose no danger to the United States."
ORR typically requires shelters to report when children are restrained or injected with emergency medication. Its policy for treatment centers, however, states that it is "not unexpected" for children with behavior problems and other disorders to act out, and therefore it is not necessary to file a report.
"That's just irresponsible," said Michelle Brané, director of the Women's Refugee Commission's Migrant Rights and Justice program, who for more than a decade has advocated for better protections for unaccompanied children.