Governor Branstad Misses the Point With Immigrant Children Crisis
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: 212-549-2666, email@example.com
Des Moines, Iowa — Governor Terry Branstad’s recent comments on the immigration crisis of unaccompanied immigrant children who have arrived at U.S. borders show a lack of understanding about border security and enforcement.
These children are fleeing conditions in their home countries that defy comprehension, including violence and abuse, many at the hands of drug cartels and gangs. Branstad’s comment that this humanitarian crisis is a result of “poor border enforcement” is disturbingly uninformed. The reason these children are in U.S. custody is they were stopped at the border by Customs and Border Patrol. Border security is also irrelevant to our legal and moral obligations
to protect children’s human rights and provide them with humane and fair treatment while in our custody.
The government must ensure that all children are given a hearing before an immigration judge, with the right to an appeal, before being removed. Children must be given enough time with legal counsel to identify any claims they may have, including as asylum seekers, as victims of abuse, exploitation, and trafficking. Children should never be held in conditions that are more restrictive than necessary or that fails to meet their basic needs. Jails and prisons are rarely if ever acceptable holding places for children.
We call on the Governor to show leadership, compassion, and nuance in the way that he speaks about human beings and in how he represents our state. Our political leaders should stay true to the history and values of the people of Iowa to be welcoming to newcomers—especially children—who need our care and protection.
Every month, you'll receive regular roundups of the most important civil rights and civil liberties developments. Remember: a well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.
The Latest in Immigrants' Rights
Broken Promises: Trump-era Travel Bans Keep Thousands Trapped in Limbo
Immigrants’ Rights Organizations Reach Settlement in Case Brought to Protect Medically Vulnerable People Detained by ICE
Voting and Immigrants’ Rights Advocates Sue Over New Florida Law That Targets Voter Registration, Civic Engagement, and Political Speech
Shen v. Simpson
The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.
Learn More About Immigrants' Rights
The fundamental constitutional protections of due process and equal protection embodied in our Constitution and Bill of Rights apply to every person, regardless of immigration status.