The head of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Migration urged the Obama administration to comply with a July 24 Federal Court ruling ordering the release of families fleeing violence in Central America.
Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary of Seattle and head of the committee, welcomed the ruling and made the plea to the Obama administration. “Appealing the decision would only prolong a flawed and unjust policy of treating this vulnerable population as criminals.”
Judge Dolly Gee of the Federal District Court of California ruled that detaining families violated an earlier settlement with the government regarding detention of families and rejected the option that children be released separately while parents remained in detention.
“There are humane alternatives to detei=ntion which would ensure that families avail themselves of the court process but also are able to access legal and social service assistance,” said Elizondo. “I encourage the administration to make use of these programs.”
Kevin Appleby, director of the USCCB’s Office of Migration Policy and Public Affairs, told NCR that his office is preparing an oped piece about the issue as well as a sign-on letter in an effort to influence the White House to end family detention.
For more detailed reporting by Nuri Vallbona for Global Sisters Report about the ruling and its implications, see here.