what we are calling for

We call on the U.S. government to end the detention and criminalization of immigrant children and their families.


While in US government custody, immigrant children must be treated as human beings with infinite worth and potential, and should not be exposed to conditions that may harm or traumatize them. In particular:


  • All immigrant children must enjoy the fundamental protections of due process, equal protection and the right to human dignity, physical integrity and freedom from abuse or use of force by authorities.

  • The U.S. government must strictly comply with the Flores consent decree, closing the loophole for “emergencies” that has been used to avoid Flores requirements.  The Flores decree requires immigrant children be held in the least restrictive conditions, be released to a parent, relative, or other sponsor “as soon as possible”, and cannot be held for longer than 20 days.

  • Additionally, using a national emergency declared by the President of the United States to avoid compliance with the Flores settlement is morally reprehensible and has been defined as an executive overreach by lawmakers.

  • The U.S. government must never separate children from their parents – not at a border crossing, not during deportation proceedings, not ever.

  • Children should be held in small community-based residential settings with no more than 50 children.

  • Immigrant children must receive at least six hours of language-appropriate classroom instruction during every school day.

  • Child detention facilities must be open to the community (for example, visits by doctors, teachers, social workers and clergy). These facilities must not use mechanical or chemical restraints on children.

  • The U.S. government must comply with guidelines set by experts in the care and custody of children – in particular, the guidelines set forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

"What's happening to these children is they are being deprived of basic human rights and the right to a quality education. We will come together and teach lessons about what incarceration does to young people. We're going to talk about migrations across the world. We're going to talk about the actual physical and mental impact of detention. We are going to talk about facts – where detention centers are located and how many children are being held."

Mandy Manning, 2018 National Teacher of the Year


There are many ways you can advocate for the rights of child immigrants in detention.



Use your classroom to shine a light on this important issue.


Contact US for more information
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Teachers Against Child Detention (TACD) is a group of teachers led by Mandy Manning, the 2018 National Teacher of the Year.


Janinne Brunyee

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