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Reports have emerged that the Biden administration is considering a plan to resume detaining asylum-seeking families, after ending the practice two years ago.

National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) Executive Director Mary Meg McCarthy responded with the following statement:

“Family detention is a horrific practice that inflicts lasting harm to children and families. This is a fact, recognized by both the medical community and the U.S. government. President Biden knew this when he denounced it as a candidate and stopped jailing families upon taking office. Two years later, his administration is contemplating resurrecting this unconscionable practice in the name of deterring people from seeking protection at our borders. Resurrecting family detention means knowingly inflicting life-long harm on children and their parents, and violating U.S. and international human rights law, while failing to address the reasons people have been forced to flee their homes. 

“The Biden administration has been rolling out Trump 2.0 policies for many months now—resurrecting prior asylum bans, increasing the wasteful and deadly practice of jailing immigrants, ramping up the use of racist migrant prosecutions, and expanding the unlawful and unjustifiable Title 42 expulsion policy. These cruel and inhumane policies are becoming this administration’s legacy.  President Biden has a choice to make: he can either continue to outdo his predecessor or respect the human rights of immigrants and asylum seekers.”