Austin – Today, 37 organizations dedicated to supporting Texas children and families wrote to state leaders and the state’s congressional delegation to express “deep concern over the reported treatment of parents and children held in immigration detention facilities on Texas soil.”
The letter follows numerous accounts of children and adults held for prolonged periods of time in overcrowded Texas-based immigration facilities with inadequate care as well as continued accounts of young children separated from their parents or other family members by U.S. immigration officials.
The letter urges the Texas officials to “support additional measures to ensure that all children and parents who are now in the care of the federal government, no matter their country of origin, receive compassionate, humane, and fair treatment.”
The organizations highlighted their concern about the long-term impact of the trauma experienced by children in immigration facilities, including those separated from their parents, noting, “Furthermore, early childhood trauma undermines a child’s healthy brain development and ability to form healthy attachments, resulting in lifelong, negative consequences, such as chronic physical and/or mental illness and less likelihood of succeeding in school or becoming productive workers.”
"We are very concerned that the inhumane treatment of migrant children, stays in detention facilities, and separation from their families or other nurturing caregivers may all have lasting, harmful effects on the health and development of these children," said Sophie Phillips, CEO of TexProtects. "We should be protecting these children, not subjecting them to further traumatic events that can have dire, lifelong consequences."
"Each and every child in our state, no matter where she was born or how she got here, should be treated with the kind of care and compassion that children deserve,” said Stephanie Rubin, CEO of Texans Care for Children and one of the nonprofit leaders who signed the letter. “We urge our elected officials from across the political spectrum to work together improve the way these children and families are being treated."
The 37 Texas organizations sent the letter to Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, Senator John Cornyn, Senator Ted Cruz, the 36 members of the Texas delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the 181 members of the Texas Legislature.
The full letter, including the list of all the signing organizations, is available here.