ACLU Statement on Biden Administration Reopening Influx Facilities

The Safety, Health, and Humanity of Children Must be Prioritized

February 24, 2021 11:00 am

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WASHINGTON — The Biden administration has reopened the Carrizo Springs influx shelter in Texas and reportedly is considering plans to reopen the Homestead influx shelter in Florida to house immigrant children. Amidst reports of negligent treatment and inappropriate conditions for children, the Office of Refugee Resettlement under the Trump administration put Carrizo Springs on “standby” status and closed Homestead.

Representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union visited Homestead in 2019 and campaigned for its closure.

Naureen Shah, senior advocacy and policy counsel for the ACLU, issued the following statement:

“While we recognize the Biden administration’s efforts to process unaccompanied children in a responsible way that addresses public health needs and prioritizes children’s safety, it is critical that it not repeat the mistakes of the Trump administration. The administration must ensure the physical and mental health needs of children are met and that they are united with their sponsors in the community without unnecessary delay.

“We urge the Biden administration to provide full transparency and accountability for these temporary shelters: Independent organizations and lawyers must have access to monitor them, they must be run by responsible non-profit providers, and they must be closed as soon as public health permits. Profiteers must not be allowed to exploit the situation.”

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