Letter to the Family Reunification Task Force

On January 27, 2022, Children’s HealthWatch wrote a letter to the Family Reunification Task Force at the Department of Homeland Security. The letter comments on recommendations to reduce the separation of migrant parents, legal guardians, and children, and such separations’ impact. The letter voices support for the Administration’s Executive Order 14011, Establishment of Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families, which recognizes the inhumane application of US immigration laws, including the Zero-Tolerance Policy, and commits to preventing separation and protecting family unity.

The letter recommends that the Task Force consider the following evidence-based recommendations:

  • All enforcement policies at the border and interior should include specific protections for children.
  • Actively communicate and clarify the public charge rule so as to minimize confusion and uncertainty that could lead eligible individuals to forgo the receipt of public benefits out of fear of family separation.
  • Oppose any policies or regulations that may cause or invoke fear of family separation.
  • Halt Title 42 policy.
  • Put an end to the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).
  • Equitably enforce the protected areas policy.
  • Utilize alternatives to detention.