Criticism of family detention ramps up; DHS head promises changes

Categories: Latest News

June 25, 2015

Children play in a double-fenced playground area outside the T. Don Hutto Family Residential Facility in Taylor, Texas, in 2009. After making recent visits to immigrant detention centers, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said changes are needed and will be made. (CNS photo/Bahram Mark Sobhani) See DETENTION-CHANGES June 24, 2015.

Children play in a double-fenced playground area outside the T. Don Hutto Family Residential Facility in Taylor, Texas, in 2009. After making recent visits to immigrant detention centers, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said changes are needed and will be made. (CNS photo/Bahram Mark Sobhani)

WASHINGTON (CNS) — As the head of Homeland Security announced plans to change detention practices for immigrant families with children, members of Congress who just visited detention centers and the director of a Catholic legal services organization firmly took issue with the system, saying the only answer is to stop imprisoning families.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a June 24 statement that “we must make substantial changes in our detention practices with respect to families with children” and announced some steps to do so.

A persistent chorus of attorneys, religious leaders and members of Congress has become increasingly insistent in criticizing the federal policy of detaining families who are intercepted at the U.S.-Mexico border and holding them in privately run detention centers, some for a year or more.

Read more in The Visitor…