Protecting Detained Immigrant Children

Earlier this summer, the Trump administration put forth a policy of separating families crossing the nation’s southern border. This cruel zero-tolerance immigration policy has caused irreparable psychological and emotional trauma to thousands of immigrant children who were separated from their parents at the border. Now, the Trump administration also wants to roll back protections for youth held in immigrant detention facilities, a move that could further traumatize children.


Recently, in a letter to the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services, AG Racine urged the Trump Administration to reconsider rolling back protections that give all immigrant children a right to be released from detention, set standards for detention conditions, and provided meaningful oversight and monitoring of their care while in custody. Specifically, AG Racine and his counterparts highlighted:

  • Evidence of lasting harm to children who are detained;
  • Constitutional concerns about indefinite detention;
  • Evidence that detention is not a deterrent to immigration; and
  • How this rollback undermines state power to place children in protective care.

Read the full letter here.

In June, AG Racine joined 15 states in a lawsuit to challenge President Trump’s family separation policy because it is cruel and discriminatory, but also unconstitutional. That same month, a court ordered the Administration to halt most family separations and in a separate ruling to reunify thousands of parents and children separated by the Trump Administration.

AG Racine is committed to evidence-based solutions that support the welfare of all children and will continue to fight to uphold the rule of law and the District’s values of compassion, human rights, and common decency.