Juntos files Urgent Appeal to United Nations on Family Detention

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12744129_10205995667358523_6621489754869539870_nA broad coalition of 60 local, national and international organizations filed an urgent action appeal to the United Nations on October 26th, 2016, urging them to issue an opinion to the U.S. government to immediately close all family detention centers and end the practice of family detention.

For over two weeks expert rapporteurs from the United Nations’ Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) toured the United States in October, 2016. The WGAD consists of a panel of 5 experts from across the world and on Monday, October 24, 2016 released a statement with their preliminary findings on U.S. human rights abuses as it pertains to detention and incarceration abuses, including family detention. They said, “Various governmental, inter-governmental and advisory have recommended that family detention be abolished. The Working Group supports those conclusions.” We applaud the UN’s statement on family detention but we believe the urgency of these families requires more and immediate action as their human rights are being violated every day.

The urgent appeal details how family detention violates our families human rights because:

  • Deterrence Is Never a Legitimate Government Purpose for Family Detention.
  • Detention Violates the Best Interest of the Child.
  • Detention of Families Is Not Necessary Given the Alternatives that Exist.
  • Detention of Families Violates Federal and Local Law.
  • Family Detention Interferes with the Right of Refugees to Seek Asylum
  • The Process and Procedures for Detaining Families Is Unfair.

This appeal is also filed on the heels of the Department of Homeland Security’s own Advisory Committee on Family Residential Centers (ACFRC) announced that their own primary recommendation is to end family detention all together and that if family detention is to continue at all it must adopt all 166 pages of recommendations that they have put forth. The draft of the full report can be found here.

Erika Almiron, Executive Director of Juntos, said, “For far too long our families have had to wait to be free from the tortures of family detention. We filed with the United Nations today in hopes that the U.S. Government will see that the issue of family detention is now a global one, an international issue and the eyes of the world are watching. Human rights abuses are not just happening in other countries, but in our very own backyards and we must work together to put an end to these abuses.”

Download (PDF, 482KB)

This urgent appeal is filed and supported by the following organizations


Grassroots Leadership

Social Justice Lawyering Clinic, Sheller Center for Social Justice, Temple University Beasley School of Law

Detention Watch Network

Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC)



The Kairos Center

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

U.S. Human Rights Network

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

350 Philadelphia

ACLAMO Family Centers

ACT UP Philadelphia

Adjunct Justice

Alas Movimiento

Aquinas Center

Asian Americans United

Black and Brown Workers Collective

BuxMont Peace and Justice Committee

BuxMont Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

BuxMont UU Fellowship Peace and Justice Committee


Children’s Health Center

Clinicians for Healthy Families

Denver Health

First Focus

Franciscan Action Network

Free Migration Project

Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights

Global Women’s Strike/US & UK

Grupo de Apoyo e Integración Hispanoamericano

Guerrero Glass

Immigrant Detainee Accompaniment Program


Lowry Family Health Clinic

Make the Road Pennsylvania

Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Michigan Solidarity Network

Migrant Justice

Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Movement of Immigrant Leaders in Pennsylvania (MILPA)

National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd

National Justice for Our Neighbors

NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice

New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia

NWDC Resistance

Payday men’s network/US & UK

Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition

Philadelphia JACL

Philadelphia Storytelling Project

Provincial Council Clerics of St. Viator (Viatorians)

School Sisters of St. Francis

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of York Social Justice Committee

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County, PA

Unitarian Universalist PA Advocacy Network


Waco Immigration Alliance

Women of Color in the Global Women’s Strike/US & UK


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