Casey Foundation Efforts to Keep Kids at Southwest Border With Families

Posted June 27, 2019, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Sister comforts brother

Since its incep­tion, the Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion has been com­mit­ted to ensur­ing all kids — no mat­ter their back­ground — have a strong fam­i­ly and com­mu­ni­ty that pro­vide the love and sup­port they need to thrive.

Sim­ply put, chil­dren belong in fam­i­lies, not facil­i­ties. Fam­i­lies play a cen­tral role in kids’ lives and serve as a source of strength and sup­port in dif­fi­cult times. Not hav­ing that kind of sup­port can derail a child’s future and under­mine well-being. We have long part­nered with states and com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers to reduce the trau­ma of sep­a­ra­tion for chil­dren involved in child wel­fare sys­tems.

Because of the impor­tance of fam­i­ly and safe­ty for all kids — and the dev­as­tat­ing toll of sep­a­ra­tion on their health and devel­op­ment — we have pre­vi­ous­ly expressed con­cerns about the treat­ment of chil­dren who are the sons and daugh­ters of immi­grants or immi­grants them­selves, as well as their par­ents. Our 2017 Race for Results report, which pro­vid­ed detailed data on chil­dren by race and eth­nic­i­ty, high­light­ed the sig­nif­i­cant bar­ri­ers fac­ing kids in immi­grant fam­i­lies to help the pub­lic and pol­i­cy­mak­ers bet­ter under­stand the issues and what is at stake for the nation’s future.

Over the past few years, the Foun­da­tion has sup­port­ed the work of nation­al and state grantees to pro­tect these chil­dren and their fam­i­lies. A few examples:

  • Sev­er­al grantees have worked to raise pub­lic aware­ness of the cri­sis at the bor­der and pro­mote human­i­tar­i­an solu­tions. They’ve also strived to pre­serve the rights of chil­dren and fam­i­lies who face poten­tial raids in their cities and to sup­port an accu­rate cen­sus count, oppos­ing the addi­tion of a cit­i­zen­ship ques­tion that would like­ly damp­en participation.
  • A coali­tion of hun­dreds of orga­ni­za­tions, Pro­tect­ing Immi­grant Fam­i­lies, Advanc­ing Our Futures, has led efforts to chal­lenge a pro­posed fed­er­al rule that would deny access to pub­lic ser­vices, such as food and hous­ing assis­tance, for immi­grants and their families.
  • The Fam­i­lies Belong Togeth­er cam­paign has orga­nized hun­dreds of ral­lies call­ing for an end to immi­gra­tion poli­cies that harm kids, includ­ing fam­i­ly sep­a­ra­tion and deten­tion. The coali­tion is focused on address­ing the inhu­mane con­di­tions and child abuse that has occurred at the border.

The Foun­da­tion will con­tin­ue to sup­port ongo­ing efforts to ensure every child and fam­i­ly in Amer­i­ca are treat­ed with the human­i­ty and fair­ness that all peo­ple deserve — and to keep fam­i­lies togeth­er in the first place.

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