Our complaint demanding the immediate release of infants under the age of 1 detained in Dilley was immediately picked up by news outlets across the country including CBS, HuffPost, Buzzfeed, and The Guardian. Hillary Clinton then tweeted out the CBS coverage to her 24.2 million followers. Senators Jeff Merkley, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand and others spoke out. As of March 4, 2019, 15 of the 16 detained babies have been released with their mothers.
On February 28, 2019, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the American Immigration Council, and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc. (CLINIC) filed a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) calling for the immediate release of numerous babies under the age of 1 - and some as young as six months old - detained at the South Texas Family Residential Center (STFRC) in Dilley, Texas. The complaint highlights concerns over the lack of specialized medical care available in Dilley for this vulnerable population, and cites long-documented limited access to adequate medical and mental health care in family detention centers.
The American Immigration Council, with partner organizations and law firms, filed administrative claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) on behalf of six families who will experience lifelong harm from the trauma from family separation. In the claims, each claimant seeks $3 million from the government for its intentional infliction of emotional distress. Justice Campaign volunteers played a pivotal role in obtaining the release for most of these claimants through the Dilley Pro Bono Project.
The American Immigration Council, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. sent a letter to DHS Secretary Nielsen on February 6, 2019 documenting the harm that families served by the Dilley Pro Bono Project have faced on the other side of the southern border – and demanding a reversal of the Migrant Protection Protocols.
On January 10th, 2019, Senator Jeff Merkley, Senator Mazie Hirono, and Representative Judy Chu wrote a letter to the Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Ronald D. Vitiello, calling for the immediate release of Cristy and her mother, an asylum-seeking family facing prolonged detention at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas.
Nearly 80 mothers and children were placed in prolonged detention in Dilley, Texas following their separations at the border this summer. Some were detained for upwards of six months. The Immigration Justice Campaign partnered with Amnesty International and the Dilley Pro Bono Project to advocate for the release of these families. As of Friday, November 30, 2018, all reunified families in Dilley were freed to continue their journeys toward asylum in the United States outside of detention. Thank you to those who joined our campaign to #FreetheFamilies!
In September, 2018, the government issued a proposed regulation that would dismantle the Flores Settlement Agreement. The proposal – if finalized – would lead to the indefinite detention of children and families in federal immigration detention facilities. Read AILA and the American Immigration Council’s comment to the government opposing this regulation.
22 immigrant mothers previously separated from their children and now detained at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas, wrote letters to the public about being forcibly separated from their children by the government. Read their stories.
August 23, 2018
AILA and the American Immigration Council (Council) filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) detailing coercive tactics used by government officials against parents who were separated from their children.
December 11, 2017
On December 11, 2017, the Campaign joined with partners to file a complaint with DHS’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) and Office of the Inspector General (OIG) on behalf of families – including parents from their minor children – forcibly separated in immigration custody at the border. This complaint documents an alarming number of asylum-seeking families who traveled to the U.S. together but were separated by immigration officials, with few mechanisms to locate or contact their family members in detention. The separation not only inflicts enormous trauma on children and parents, but also undermines a family’s ability to mount a joint legal defense.
December 11, 2017.
Filed with Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
December 11, 2017.
Immigration Impact. Katie Shepherd, National Advocacy Counsel, AILA/Council Immigration Justice Campaign.
December 21, 2017.
December 21, 2017.
New York Times
December 22, 2017.