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August 04, 2015

Aguilar Calls on Department of Homeland Security to End Family Detention Program

Last week, Rep. Pete Aguilar (CA-31) joined fellow California member Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA-19) and 176 members of Congress on a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), calling on it to end its Family Detention Program. The letter followed the U.S. District Court’s ruling that the DHS detention program violated the 1997 Flores Settlement, which guided protocol for unaccompanied minors caught crossing the border. It also applies to those apprehended with their parents. Judge Dolly M. Gee of Federal District Court for the Central District of California ruled on the decision late Friday, July 24th.

“As our nation continues to deal with an immigration crisis, we must remember to always show care and compassion, especially for those who are most vulnerable. The women and children held in these detention centers are from nations ravaged by war, poverty, and disease—we cannot subject an already susceptible population to more hardship and strife. Judge Gee made an important ruling last month and I stand with my colleagues in Congress and urge Secretary Johnson and the Department of Homeland Security to heed this decision,” said Rep. Aguilar.

Rep. Aguilar is a strong advocate of comprehensive immigration reform and a champion of the President’s program to create and expand programs for undocumented immigrants, including DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents). He was also a leader in the successful efforts to fund the Department of Homeland Security without attaching anti-immigration provisions to the funding bill in February of this year. The letter to Secretary Johnson can be read in full here.