We Should Not Fall into Complacency

For Release 3 p.m. CST

May 23, 2019


“We Should Not Fall into Complacency”



BROWNSVILLE — May 23, 2019 — Our community does not abide by complacency. The onslaught of reported child deaths in US custody shouldn’t be normalized. It is now reported that six children have died since September on behalf of homeland security. In little less than a week, it was reported that a 16-year-old boy died, following the death of a baby boy who died of pneumonia, and now we are discovering a 10-year-old girl died in September.  Let us be clear, protecting families and their children should be a paramount tenet to our country, and no family deserves to lose a child, regardless of their status.

Currently, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is petitioning for additional funding from different avenues to address their definition of humanitarian needs at the border through increased enforcement and prison beds. We do not feel that funding these requests will make children or families any safer than what has transpired these short few weeks. There has already been decades of investment in a militarized response to immigration which has contributed to loss of life. CBP is admittedly a militarized law enforcement agency and has no place caring for children and families. Right now, it’s critical for a humanitarian response to refugees where medical care and services are available as needed and child welfare professionals help facilitate families connecting with their sponsors as quickly and safely as possible. What’s more, it would be a show of good faith if case management funds were returned and reapportioned to a qualified agency, thereby allowing more social workers to assist.

As the reasons for these children’s deaths remain in question, the facts remain the same: deterrence doesn’t work and punishing families, including children, is a tactic that is proving to be deadly and funded by the taxpaying public.  Our communities do not want more funds to be funneled into needless death. We propose a new border vision that places lives at the forefront of partisanship and hate. If we are to effectively address humanitarian needs at the border, we must have more transparency and oversight from these organizations.  






For more information, press only:

Michelle Serrano-Communications Strategist of the Equal Voice Network-RGV

956-374-4308 (office), mserrano@aclutx.org (email)