Don’t Rush Kids Back to Danger, Advocates Urge
Washington – The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote today on legislation (H.R. 5230) rolling back protections against child trafficking, shortcutting procedural protections intended to ensure that child refugees have an opportunity to assert claims for protection, expanding and extending the detention of children in facilities that cannot ensure their health, safety, and development, and denying them legal representation. The bipartisan children’s advocacy organization First Focus Campaign for Children sent members of the House a letter yesterday, opposing the proposal. In response to an announcement that the House will vote today, the Campaign for Children issued the following statement by its Vice President for Immigration and Child Rights Policy, Wendy Cervantes:
“Parents only let their children face the dangers of coming here because their children face greater dangers at home – that’s the short definition of refugee. And a vote for this bill is a vote to deny those child refugees a chance at sanctuary and a vote to return them to the traffickers, gangs, and drug lords who would exploit, abuse, and violate them. Our nation should not take actions that would risk children’s lives. Members of Congress should ask whether their votes are in the best interests of the child – if they ask that question, they’ll see that this bill doesn’t pass that common-sense test.”
# # #
The First Focus Campaign for Children is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization affiliated with First Focus, a bipartisan children’s advocacy organization. The Campaign for Children advocates directly for legislative change in Congress to ensure children and families are the priority in federal policy and budget decisions. For more information, visit www.ffcampaignforchildren.org.