End Child Detention



Every year, tens of thousands of people come to the US asking for asylum or other forms of humanitarian protection. They are refugees in search of protection, and include children and families. But upon arrival at the southern border, many are forced to stay in Mexico, without money or access to lawyers, and wait in dangerous conditions and legal limbo while their claims are processed. Many have been imprisoned and held behind bars for weeks, even months, in US detention centers without proper due process or the care they deserve. While the detention of children and families isn’t new, the Trump administration deliberately targeted them through policies seeking to deter, punish, and criminalize people seeking safety in the USA. The consequences have been devastating — children are held in cages and locked up in freezing cells, without adequate food or medicine; most tragically, children have died in custody. These violations are a stark reminder of our country’s hypocrisy when it comes to what we strive to stand for — a pillar of welcome and freedom — and what’s actually happening — the cruel treatment of people, families, and kids because of where they were born.

What You Can Do

  • AIUSA is joining The Butterfly Effect project to raise awareness about what’s happening with child detention in the US. This youth-led art project is working to create a visual representation of the 15,000 immigrant children in detention centers. Learn more about the project and make butterflies in your group. Once made, put them on display in a public place, and engage your community in taking action to stop child detention in the US. Make sure to let your Field Organizer know if you are interested in taking this action!
  • Gather signatures on several key petitions targeting the US government actors with the authority to ensure people seeking safety, including children and families, are treated with dignity, fairness and respect:
  • Working with your Amnesty organizer, plan for the Day of Action calling for an end to the detention of children! On November 20, 2019, Universal Children’s Day, Amnesty activists dropped banners across the country! A time-honored strategy of deploying a message in a public space, a banner drop gets a simple statement out in a creative and artistic way to reach potentially hundreds or thousands of people in your community. Contact [email protected] if your group is interested in this action and we’ll send resources and guidelines on how to proceed!