Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release


Mariya Parodi,

Press Release

ICE Doubles Down on Detention to Deter and Punish Families for Seeking Safety


Responding to the Department of Homeland Security statement regarding the pending Flores court decision, Denise Bell, the researcher for refugee and migrant rights at Amnesty International USA said:

"The administration’s statement that the court is forcing its hand to separate families is pure disinformation. On the contrary, it is ICE’s actions that have contributed to this untenable situation. This administration has consistently acted to keep families detained, instead of releasing them together, which is well within its discretion to do. The government that has sought a path fundamentally destructive of a child’s best interests and family unity by keeping families together through prolonged detention. ICE has the authority to release parents with their children, and has historically done so.  But now, it’s doubled down on detention simply to deter and punish families for seeking safety.

"The Department of Homeland Security flouts bedrock principles – the best interests of the child and family unity – so that it can continue to lock up families who came to this country to seek safety. This administration knows that it is well past time that they release families together but is deliberately choosing cruelty.

“The government’s protests that it is standing up for family unity is deceptive and a public relations move. ICE supports family unity only if it’s in detention. This is the same administration that implemented a policy and practice of forcible family separation in 2018 and yet now maintains it is an advocate of family unity. Nothing could be further from the truth. If the administration is as concerned about the welfare of these families as it claims, it should release families together immediately.”

Read more:

U.S. District hearing is a blow to families facing family separation(August 8, 2020)

Amnesty International USA and 100+ Organizations Call on ICE to Free Families Together(July 17, 2020)

Judge to government: promptly and safely release kids from detention centers(April 24, 2020)

New hearing confirms ICE chooses family separation over family unity (May 22, 2020)

As federal judge weighs release of children in immigration detention, COVID-19 risks grow (May 29, 2020)

Federal Judge Halts Trump Administration's Cruel Attack on Flores Agreement, Children's Rights (September 27, 2019)


Amnesty International is a global movement of millions of people demanding human rights for all people – no matter who they are or where they are. We are the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization.

Because Climate Science 'Does Not Grade on a Curve,' Experts Says IRA Not Enough

"There is an urgent need for much more aggressive and far-reaching measures to prevent climate chaos," said the head of one progressive consumer advocacy group.

Brett Wilkins ·

'Game-Changer and Reason for Hope': House Passes Inflation Reduction Act

"We've got more to do," Rep. Pramila Jayapal said on the House floor. "But today, let's celebrate this massive investment for the people."

Jake Johnson ·

'This Is Insane': Search Warrant Indicates FBI Investigating Trump for Espionage Act Violation

"If you're not fed up," said watchdog group Public Citizen, "you're not paying enough attention."

Jessica Corbett ·

Anti-War Veterans Group Asks Biden to 'Read Our Nuclear Posture Review Before Releasing Yours'

"Are you willing to risk a civilization-ending apocalypse by playing nuclear chicken with other nuclear-armed nations? Or will you lead us toward a planet that is free of nuclear weapons?"

Jessica Corbett ·

'Big Win' for Public Lands and Climate as US Judge Reinstates Coal Lease Ban

"It's past time that this misguided action by the Trump administration is overturned," said one environmental campaigner.

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo