RAICES Responds to Settlement for Families Separated Under “Zero Tolerance” and Calls for Justice and Restitution for Families

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, October 20, 2023
Press Contact: Jessica Ortiz, [email protected]

RAICES will continue to fight alongside the families separated under the Zero Tolerance policy to defend their rights and fight for restitution to ensure their safety, security, and future.

San Antonio, Texas – In response to the settlement reached by the Department of Homeland Security in the case representing families separated under the cruel and unlawful “Zero Tolerance” policy, RAICES celebrates the proposed settlement as a much-needed step towards justice and calls for its immediate approval. RAICES also calls on the U.S. Government to work towards seeking restitution on behalf of the families separated and punished under Zero Tolerance.

“For years, families separated under Zero Tolerance have fought to hold the U.S. government accountable for cruelly and systematically taking their children away to deter others from seeking safety in the U.S. By choosing to seek safety and refuge in this country, our government cost them everything, including their children,” says Javier Hidalgo, a spokesperson for RAICES. He continues, “Our government has the power — and responsibility — to redress this harm. That means taking the necessary steps to restore the ideals and principles this country was founded on by providing restitution, legal relief, and the tools to thrive in the U.S. to families separated under Zero Tolerance.”

The proposed settlement would provide families separated under Zero Tolerance three-year work permits and social services, including housing, medical, and mental health assistance if approved. Covered families would also be eligible to apply for humanitarian protection. Lastly, the proposed settlement would bar the U.S. from separating families migrating to the U.S. for eight years.

The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees. Learn more at