House Democrats press ICE on alleged family separation in detention centers

House Democrats this week wrote to the Trump administration expressing concern about reports that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been pursuing family separation at detention centers — reports that ICE denies.

The letter from Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee cited reports that parents at at least three ICE detention centers were being presented with the choice to either remain in detention with their children, or for their children to be transferred to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) or a sponsor. They want the practice to be stopped and a “detained legal explanation” provided.


“The Administration must stop using this public health crisis as a means for implementing unlawful and inhumane immigration policies,” the letter read. “In these extraordinary times, human suffering need not be compounded by locking up families or instilling fear in the hearts of migrant parents.”

Family separation became a major political controversy in 2018 when the Trump administration adopted a “zero tolerance” policy toward migrants coming across the border. Responding to a migrant surge consisting largely of family units, and the Flores court ruling limiting how long children could be detained, the administration started separating children from

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