MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The lawmakers said that many of the detained migrants are fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries and detaining children who have already suffered from abuse exacerbates the past trauma and may have a long-term negative impact on their psychological health.
“We believe your Department… has not fully grasped the serious harm being inflicted upon mothers and children in custody. We believe the only solution to this problem is to end the use of family detention,” the lawmakers said in a letter published on the website of Zoe Lofgren, a member of the US House of Representative from California’s 19th district.
The signatories also noted that some of the migrant mothers and children remain in custody “despite serious medical needs.” They mentioned the case of a child with brain cancer who was kept in a detention center instead of being transferred to a hospital.
“We cannot continue to hear reports of serious harm to children in custody and do nothing about it.”
The DHS uses immigration detention facilities to house migrants who are awaiting hearings on whether they will be allowed to remain in the United States. The detention centers received much criticism from rights organizations and media over their inhumane living conditions.