Read a PDF of our statement here.

In May, the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security began prosecuting people crossing the border – even those seeking asylum from life-threatening circumstances at home, who have historically been admitted entry to the United States as their immigration status is considered – and separating children from their parents. This week, President Trump signed an executive order directing federal law enforcement to detain families together, but the Administration offered no plan to reunite the 2300 children who have reportedly been separated from their parents, nor any information about their whereabouts. The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) today filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding the detention of immigrants, particularly those under the age of 18.

“Thousands of children were ripped from their parents arms as a result of the Trump Administration’s cruel and inhumane immigration policy, and it’s totally unacceptable that the federal government has failed to provide any information regarding its plans to reunite these families,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, LDF’s President and Director-Counsel. “Though the Trump Administration claims to have ended the shameful family separations, there are still thousands of kids disconnected from their parents and our government must provide more information on how and where they’re being held. LDF’s FOIA requests also seek information on where families are being detained together.”

The FOIA requests seek:

  • All documents outlining an agreement between DHS or HHS and any public or private entities in Maryland, New York, and the District of Columbia allowing for the detention of children under the age of 18;
  • All documents identifying facilities or other locations in Maryland, New York, and the District of Columbia where children under the age of 18 are detained;
  • All documents related to conditions at facilities or other locations in Maryland, New York, and the District of Columbia where children under the age of 18 are detained;
  • All manuals, standards, or guidance concerning the treatment of people detained in facilities or other locations in Maryland, New York, and the District of Columbia where children under the age of 18 are held;
  • All manuals, standards, or guidance concerning contact between detained minors and their families at facilities or other locations in Maryland, New York, and the District of Columbia where children under the age of 18 are held;
  • All documents DHS or HHS has provided about the rights of detained people to facilities and locations in Maryland, New York, and the District of Columbia where children under the age of 18 are held; and
  • All documents listing the age, gender, race, ethnicity, date of entry to the United States, and location of entry into the United States for all children under the age of 18 currently being detained in Maryland, New York, and the District of Columbia.

Read LDF’s FOIA requests here and here.

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Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.

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