Biden must reject plans to restart family detention

Washington, DC – Last Monday, the New York Times reported that the Biden administration is considering reinstating family detention along the southern border. This policy was significantly expanded under the previous administration. President Biden came to office with a promise to reinvest in asylum,and the Biden-Harris administration in fact halted family detention in 2021. Reinstating family detention would be a human rights disaster and would further erode the right to seek asylum in this country.

“A DHS spokesperson has stated that the administration’s priority is the ‘safe, orderly, and humane processing of migrants.’ To be frank: there is no way to make the detention of migrant families humane,” said RCUSA Executive Director John Slocum. “Countless reports have detailed the harm and trauma that children and families can experience during even a short time in detention. As Title 42 is set to expire in May, President Biden continues to propose asylum rules and policies repackaged from the former administration. The solution to addressing migration concerns is not to invest in policies and programs that are guaranteed to result in discrimination and trauma, but to robustly fund our asylum mechanisms to reduce delays and ensure accurate screenings.”

RCUSA urges the Biden administration to reject any and all plans to reinstate family detention alongside his proposed asylum bans – and instead fully restore asylum protections, invest in community-based case management programs, and ensure that asylum seekers have a safe place to call home.

Media Contact: Sarah Seniuk,

RCUSA is a diverse coalition advocating for just and humane laws and policies, and the promotion of dialogue and communication among government, civil society, and those who need protection and welcome. Individual RCUSA members do not all address all refugee-related issues, nor do all individual members approach common refugee-related issues identically.