1. Action Alert
  2. Immigrants & Refugees

Stop Detaining Children and Families

By Hannah Graf Evans, June 28, 2018


Amid the national outcry against forcible family separation, your members of Congress need to hear loudly and clearly from you. Tell them detaining families together is not a solution to family separation.

Amid the national outcry against forcible family separation, your members of Congress need to hear loudly and clearly from you. Tell them detaining families together is not a solution to family separation.

In the past two weeks, due to your advocacy, the House rejected two bills that would undermine the safety of immigrant and border communities. The next step is to reject proposed legislation that harms children.

Can you ask your members of Congress to reject legislation that expands family detention?

Bills expanding family detention are gaining bipartisan momentum in the House and the Senate. The Keep Families Together and Enforce the Law Act (S. 3093) and similar legislation would allow for children to be detained indefinitely with their parents.

Currently, children can’t be kept in detention for more than 20 days. Congress should uphold that standard; passing legislation that undermines protections for children is no solution.

Urge your members of Congress to oppose any legislation that incarcerates children, with or without their parents.

The administration does not need Congress to pass legislation for the administration to stop family separation. Congress should push the administration to end its zero-tolerance prosecution policy and return discretion to protect asylum seekers, especially young children, from being harmfully incarcerated.

Non-restrictive, community-based alternatives to detention are the most appropriate response for families, children, and asylum seekers. Please tell members of Congress to encourage the administration to utilize these options rather than expanding family detention.

Please tell your member of Congress to oppose any bill that expands family detention.

Legislative Ask Stop Incarcerating Children and Separating Families 

Reject legislation that expands family detention. Instead, increase oversight of immigration and border enforcement, cut funding for deportation and detention, and invest in community-based alternatives to detention.

Hannah Graf Evans

  • Former Legislative Representative, Immigration and Refugee Policy

Hannah Graf Evans led FCNL's lobbying for compassionate immigration and refugee policies, with a particular focus on detention practices, the rights of border communities, and protection of vulnerable communities. Hannah served as co-chair of the Interfaith Immigration Coalition steering committee for three years.