Complaint Urges Immediate Release of Infants from Detention
On February 28, 2019, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the American Immigration Council, and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc. (CLINIC) filed a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) calling for the immediate release of numerous babies under the age of 1 – and some as young as six months old – detained at the South Texas Family Residential Center (STFRC) in Dilley, Texas. The complaint highlights concerns over the lack of specialized medical care available in Dilley for this vulnerable population, and cites long-documented limited access to adequate medical and mental health care in family detention centers.
The complaint was immediately picked up by news outlets across the country including CBS, HuffPost, Buzzfeed, and The Guardian. Hillary Clinton then tweeted out the CBS coverage to her 24.2 million followers. Senators Jeff Merkley, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand and others spoke out. As of March 4, 2019, 15 of the 16 detained babies have been released with their mothers.