- Action Alert
- Immigrants & Refugees
Invest in Alternatives to Detention As a Solution to Family Separation
Ending family separation does not mean that we must expand family detention.
There are underused, community-based alternatives to detention. They allow individuals and families to navigate the immigration and asylum processes with community support.
One such alternative is the Family Case Management Program (FCMP). FCMP began in 2015, in response to an increase in Central American families seeking asylum from gangs and other violence.
The program operated in five cities, where families lived in communities rather than be incarcerated together in remote detention centers. Enrolled families were supervised by social workers, who helped them find lawyers, housing, and transportation, and made sure they attended their immigration court hearings. Around 99 percent of participants attended court appearances and ICE check-ins. However, it was severely underused. Over the two years the program was in effect, there were never more than 1,600 people enrolled. Conversely, more than 350,000 immigrants were held in ICE detention just in 2016.
The administration ended FCMP in June 2017; it should be restored.
The House Appropriations Committee agreed to restart the program, and now senators need to hear from you that this is the right approach. We shouldn't be detaining asylum seekers and families, especially when there is a proven alternative.
The FCMP is a proven community-based alternative for families seeking safety. Through a letter to the editor, you can ask Congress to invest in and direct the administration to support safe alternatives like case management.