Jail is no place for children.
Yet hundreds of refugee children and their mothers are currently being imprisoned in for-profit detention camps, which are essentially jails, in the Southwestern United States. This is a violation of their basic dignity and human rights. Join us in calling on President Obama to release these imprisoned children.
Malnourishment and severe sickness are common among children in the camps. Schooling appears to be sporadic. Overcrowded living conditions are the norm. The New York Timesrecently reported on the horrors in these camps under the headline, “The Shame of America’s Family Detention Camps.”
Refugee children around the world cross borders into neighboring countries to seek safe haven. At the U.S. border, we detain these children, creating a physical barrier to the outside world. There is currently a mass exodus of women and children fleeing violence in Central America and arriving in the United States seeking refuge. Our administration’s answer is to imprison them, often for months at a time, until a decision is a made on whether or not to grant them asylum in the United States. If deported, their fate is unknown; these women and children face brutal persecution in their home countries.
Why are these refugee children locked up? Simply because they came to the United States seeking a safe haven.
It’s time to have a heart and uphold basic human dignity. We need to cast light on this travesty and call on President Obama to immediately end the detention of refugee children and their mothers.