San Antonio, Texas – Today RAICES Texas joined a delegation from the White House and Congress to visit the Carrizo Springs children’s detention center. We are serving children at Carrizo because it is imperative that every child know their rights and have access to legal representation.
As an organization that has worked on this issue for decades, we know that the current situation at the border is nothing new. Child migration and the numbers of children that we’re seeing enter through the southern border is not unprecedented or unusual or surprising at this moment. Statistically this was very predictable.
The government in the past several years, from the Obama administration to the Trump administration, has known that every single year there is a period of time when high numbers of people migrate to the United States. So calling this a “surge” or a “border security crisis” is just completely misleading and inaccurate. Not to mention extremely dehumanizing.
“It’s shocking that as a country we are still putting kids in these places after years of seeing them open and close over and over again. We at RAICES know who these children are and where they come from. We know their stories and we won’t stop until we as a country see them for who they are; human beings seeking a better life for themselves and their families.” Sarah Valdes, Director of Released Children’s Services, RAICES.
As we enter the third month of the Biden presidency, RAICES is sounding the alarm on the current challenges we have in front of us in a way that honors the children’s human dignity.
“The facilities run by HHS/ORR are better than ICE or CBP, however the Trump Administration showed with family separation under Zero Tolerance that the HHS/ORR system could be weaponized. The biggest threat to any of these children’s safety is that they will be deported by the U.S. government back to the most dangerous places. That’s what DHS and DOJ are at work trying to do. No matter how nice the HHS/ORR facilities are, as long as DHS/DOJ is allowed to charge the children in their care for deportation they are not safe places for children,” she continued.
RAICES will not be silent while thousands of children sit in these places. Today, we’re sending a clear message: free the children and reunite them with their families immediately. Children and families do not have to suffer in detention. Period.
In the long term, we must create the systems and infrastructure to welcome asylum seekers and ensure we are addressing the push factors that are displacing families and forcing people to leave their homes to seek home and safety in the U.S.
Contact: Lucia Allain