Right now, there is a humanitarian crisis at our nation’s border affecting children detained in federal immigration facilities. Time is of the essence and we ask that you send a letter to your Members of Congress urging them to conduct appropriate and sustained oversight of these facilities and guarantee that detained children are afforded enhanced protections that meet their needs.
As a constituent and PTA member, I am writing to urge you to immediately address the humanitarian crisis at our nation's border. While Congress has appropriated an emergency border aid package, it is urgent that appropriate and sustained Congressional oversight of federal detention facilities holding children is conducted. Additionally, it is vitally important that Congress ensure there are enhanced protections for the children being held in federal custody guaranteeing that they are provided hot meals, drinking water, appropriate nutrition and that their hygiene and sanitation needs are met.
As a PTA member, I believe every child-regardless of their immigration status-has the right of access to adequate food and shelter, basic health care services, and a high-quality public education. Denying these services to children, regardless of their citizenship status, creates serious health and social concerns. A recent Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Report characterized the situation at the southern border as "an acute and worsening crisis" and raises serious concerns about overcrowding and prolonged detention of unaccompanied children and families in some U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities. Congress must act immediately to ensure all federal detention facilities comply with federal law and standards required for operation. Federal agencies responsible for migrant detention and processing must adequately protect children and families and judiciously process immigration claims.
I also urge you to take the necessary steps to immediately stop any zero-tolerance policy that may result in harmful separation of undocumented children from their parents or family members. The separation of a child from their parent creates toxic stress and trauma that can have significant harm on a child's brain development. PTA believes family unity is a core principle of society and all children belong with their parents, family members or legal guardian. I urge you to seek the immediate reunification of families presently separated under current enforcement policy.
It is in the national interest to ensure all children, including undocumented children, have the opportunity to reach their full potential and become productive members of society. As a constituent and PTA member, I look forward to hearing what steps you will be taking as a Member of Congress to address the humanitarian crisis at the border affecting children.
Your name and PTA
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In this together for ALL children,
Vice President & Director of Legislation and Advocacy