USICD Issues Press Release on Family Separation

June 24, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Isabel Hodge, Executive Director

Telephone: (202) 495-7712

Email: ihodge@usicd.org

USICD Opposes Trump Administration           Policies on Family Separation

The United States International Council on Disability (USICD) vigorously opposes the Trump administration policies that forcibly remove children and adults from immigrant parents or other family members and place them in detention camps around the United States.  USICD demands that the administration stop this inhumane, cruel, and abusive practice immediately.  USICD also demands that the Department of Homeland Security carry out its responsibilities to adults and children with disabilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, for federally conducted programs.

Those seeking safe haven in the United States should never be placed in detention facilities and children should never be forcibly separated from their parents at the border.  Separating detained children from their parents is traumatizing.  It will have immediate and long-term physical and emotional consequences, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.  President Trump’s disastrous Executive Order has no clear process to reunite families.  Conditions in the US detention facilities that have been reported are inhuman and cruel.  There is no place in this wealthy country for forcing children into chain link cages, sleeping on cement floors, constant light exposure, lack of bathing facilities, and insufficient food and water.

The Department of Homeland Security must take immediate steps to ensure the safety and health of all detained persons, parents and children, and determine which persons are persons with disabilities and what their health needs and whether they need assistance in daily living activities as required by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The Department of Homeland Security’s own Section 504 regulations require such action.  Statistically, 10-15 % of all children have some special health care needs.  Who is properly identifying and caring for children with disabilities?

The President’s Executive Order must immediately join the children together with their parents and provide appropriate and suitable housing for them.  USICD also demands that The Department of Homeland Security follow its responsibilities under Federal law and identify detainees with disabilities and provide the necessary accommodation for those detained family members with disabilities, including appropriate medical care.

Also, under the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and the Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (DD Act), State Protection and Advocacy, authorized by Congress, have the authority to investigate abuse and neglect in any setting where a person with intellectual or developmental disabilities receives services.  State Protection and Advocacy systems must be permitted immediate access to all detention centers for immigrant children and adults.

The United States International Council on Disabilities is a 501 (c)3 non-profit that works to promote the rights and full participation of persons with disabilities through global engagement and United States foreign affairs.

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