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Comments on the Family Detention Rule

A recently proposed rule would allow the Department of Homeland Security to indefinitely detain immigrant children who enter the U.S. in the company of a parent or guardian. Under current law, such children must be released or transferred to a non-secure, state-licensed facility within 20 days. We filed comments critiquing the Department’s assessment of the costs and benefits of this policy change.

Specifically, we criticize the Department for failing to quantify the financial costs that lengthier detentions would impose on the government; ignoring entirely the physical, psychological, and educational costs that lengthier detentions would impose on detained children; and providing no evidence of benefits that would result from lengthier detentions.