ACLU Response to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson's Statement on Family Detention and Asylum

June 24, 2015 3:45 pm

Media Contact
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States

WASHINGTON — U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement today that he has “reached the conclusion that we must make substantial changes in our detention practices with respect to families with children.” The changes he outlined include releasing some detained families if they post bond or meet other conditions of release, and are successful in stating a case of credible or reasonable fear of persecution in their home countries.

Cecillia Wang, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said:

“Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction, but it does not go far enough. The U.S. government should not be locking up children and families in immigration jails, period. For an entire year, the government has violated the basic rights of mothers and children to apply for asylum, by locking them up without cause and at great expense, by prejudging their cases without fairly applying the law to individual circumstances, and by putting up barriers to legal counsel, when the stakes are life or death. It has taken a year of lawsuits and sustained public pressure from human rights groups and Congress to get the Department of Homeland Security to act on these problems, and the ACLU will continue to hold DHS accountable.”

Learn more about the ACLU’s immigrants’ rights work at:

Sign up to be the first to hear about how to take action.

Learn More About the Issues in This Press Release