Detention is traumatic for children, families

Detention, even with families, is traumatic for children and can have long-term health and developmental effects. Studies show significant impacts on children held in detention, including depression, post-traumatic stress, increased rates of anxiety, heightened risks of self-harm, developmental delays and negative impacts on the parent-child relationship.

Family incarceration is inhumane and expensive. The Family Case Management Program cost only $36 per family, per day. In comparison, family detention costs on average $798 per day for a family (2.5 individuals).

How we treat new immigrants reflects our commitment to the values that define us as Americans. We believe that families should stick together, that we should look out for each other, and that hard work should be rewarded.

The same is as true today as it has been throughout history: People move in order to improve life, and we believe that moving to make a better life for your family is one of the best things and one of the hardest things a person can do. Asylum-seeking families who have made this hard decision deserve a fair immigration process where they are kept together and given due process as their cases are heard.

MARY O’NEILL,

Presque Isle