• Description

In the first five months of 2021, about 65,000 children were apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) after arriving in the United States unaccompanied by a parent or legal guardian. These children come to the United States seeking protection, stability, and a chance to reunite with their families, but are instead processed at federally run stations and incarcerated in jail-like conditions with often freezing temperatures, inadequate food and water, limited access to showers and hygiene products, and no access to private toilets, sinks, or beds.

Rather than incarcerating unaccompanied children in such awful conditions, there is another way: to urge the federal government to respond to their arrival with compassion, not confineĀ­ment, and to work as quickly as possible to reunify them with family and kin in the United States. This brief provides concrete recommendations to states and localities to intervene and use their authority toward this goal.