Skip to main content

Fact Sheet: Unaccompanied Children Should Be Treated Like Children – June 2019

June 22, 2019

The Trump Administration announced its plan in June 2019, to open a child detention facility – a prison –  at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. We cannot allow the U.S. government to continue to imprison children and bypass the laws mandating the humane treatment of immigrant children by opening long-term prisons for children on military bases.

Take a look at our fact sheet that details why the federal government’s decision to prioritize policing and militarization over the comprehensive health and well-being of children is an extension of the white supremacist policy of criminalizing Black and Brown children and represents a total disregard of its legal obligations to children.

View fact sheet here

Main Takeaways

  • Children and adults seeking refuge from extreme violence and starvation in their home countries should not be criminalized. There is a humanitarian approach to dealing with migration.
  • Criminalizing migration and imprisoning adults and children in tent cities and military bases under dehumanizing, deplorable conditions where death and disease become the norm needs to stop.
  • By jailing children in these military camps, the U.S. government will be perpetuating trauma in children in its custody. These harms inflict long-lasting toxic psychological and developmental damage on children, exacerbating any existing trauma.
  • Short-term “influx” facilities are preferable to detention in freezing cold, hielera or icebox holding cells run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), but influx facilities should not serve as a long-term strategy to get around long-established child welfare standards and due process protections.