Washington, D.C. – Today, Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) issued the following statement regarding the Trump Administration’s proposal to withdraw from the Flores Settlement Agreement, a critically important long-standing policy that protects immigrant children.
The administration’s proposed rule would expand the ability of the Department of Homeland Security to jail families in poor conditions and dismantle decades-long protections for children that were established under the Flores Settlement.
“These proposed changes show that the President has learned absolutely nothing from the outrage that exploded across the country at his zero-humanity family separation policy and his ongoing policies that put children in cages,” said Rep. Jayapal.
“Indefinitely detaining children in jails is unconscionable—children and families escaping violence and seeking a better life simply should not be imprisoned in facilities, many of which do not even provide adequate medical care or basic hygiene. Trump’s proposals are reprehensible, unnecessary and show a blatant disregard for the well-being of children—all for the purpose of trying to score political points by playing to a diminishing part of his base that thrives on the scapegoating of immigrants. Americans across this country should remember their own immigrant histories, and the values that define this nation. We cannot expect to lead the world on human rights when we violate them within our own borders with the most vulnerable—children. This administration has repeatedly shown it is absolutely unwilling to put forward any proposals that actually address the plight of families that seek refuge across our southern border. It has buoyed a for-profit detention system that benefits from the detention of children and families at the expense of basic rights, health and safety. Congress must act by passing comprehensive legislation, like my Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act, to transform our detention system and protect immigrant children and families. Welcoming newcomers is foundational to our country—we should protect and expand the ability of families to seek refuge from violence and treat every person with dignity and respect regardless of their status.”