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H.R.1069 / S.397 - Shut Down Child Prison Camps Act

CAN's Congressional photo of congress member and Senator Ed Markey

To prohibit the Department of Health and Human Services from operating unlicensed temporary emergency shelters for unaccompanied alien children.



You might favor this bill if:
►  You believe the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) should be prohibited from operating unlicensed temporary emergency shelters for unaccompanied alien children. Migrants are not criminals, children should not be used as a strategy of deterrence, and asylum claims are to have due process.

You might oppose this bill if:
►  You believe DHS should be allowed to continue operating unlicensed temporary emergency shelters for unaccompanied alien children. The government is allowed to implement strategies of deterrence, which include the operation of these shelters.
Introduced House Senate President Law


The Shut Down Child Prison Camps Act prohibits the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) from operating unlicensed temporary emergency shelters for unaccompanied alien children, including the previously operational shelter in Tornillo, Texas and the shelter in Homestead, Florida.

In the act, the term “temporary emergency shelter” refers to an unlicensed care provider facility that provides temporary emergency shelter and services for unaccompanied alien children when licensed facilities are near or at capacity.

Sen. Jeff Merkley and Rep. Judy Chu announced the introduction of the bicameral legislation as direct action to shut down unregulated child prison camps for migrant children.

“It was absolutely chilling to see children locked up in a child prison in the desert. Children belong in homes, schools, and parks, not behind barbed wire. Our taxpayer dollars are being used to traumatize children by keeping them in child prison camps instead of in homes and communities. This is evil," said Sen.Merkley. "We would be outraged if any other nation was locking up innocent children in desolate, unregulated child prisons—but that’s exactly what we’re doing here in the United States of America. We need to shut down these child prisons and end Trump’s war on migrant children.”

“I will never forget the lines of children being forced by guards to march in a single-file line just to go to the bathroom because they were not allowed to go anywhere on their own. Although we were prohibited from speaking to the children, the look in their eyes showed despair,” said Rep. Chu. “Fortunately, thanks to the remarkable community outrage, the camp at Tornillo was closed. But children are still being detained elsewhere, like in Homestead, Florida, thanks to a legal loophole that Trump is exploiting in order to wage his war on immigrants. These children are paying too high a price for Trump’s xenophobia, including being retraumatized or suffering developmental harm.”

Specifically, the legislation mainly prohibits the use of emergency influx facilities like the Homestead detention center, prohibits the DHSS from sharing information with the Department of Homeland Security that could lead to the detention and deportation of family members or other sponsors willing to care for these children.

H.R.1069

Sponsored by: Rep. Chu, Judy [D-CA-27].

Cosponsored by: 0 Rep / 15 Dem.

See list of cosponsors.



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