While many of us will be celebrating the holiday seasons with family and friends, thousands of migrant children — including many who have been torn away from their families — will remain locked up in cages at the southern border, with no idea when they will be free.
Officially, non-government facilities housing migrant families must adhere to the Flores agreement, which requires the release of children after 20 days. Texas, however, has created a system in which such facilities can be granted an exemption to this from ICE. So far, two facilities, in Karnes and Dilley, both operated by private contractors, have been given permission to hold children for longer than 20 days.
Recently, a lawsuit aimed at forcing these facilities to adhere to the 20-day rule was shot down by the 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin.
The Trump administration has been clamoring to find a way to circumvent or altogether do away with the Flores agreement. This new ruling may have opened the door to making Texas the go-to location for migrant families to be held indefinitely by ICE.
These facilities are unsanitary and lack such basic services as medical care and education. Families who have stayed in Karnes and Dilley have reported their young children becoming lethargic, depressed, anxious and ill. In one case, a toddler developed a respiratory infection which eventually killed her.
There's no excuse for this cruelty ever, but especially not during the holidays.
Add your name to this petition to tell Texas' 3rd Court of Appeals that this is completely unacceptable! End the torture now.