Over the course of this summer, the American people -- across party lines -- have shown that they reject the hate and dehumanization of immigrants that appears to have motivated last weekend's mass shooting in El Paso. Many are outraged over the cruel neglect of children in custody along the border -- child abuse as immigration policy -- and this has spurred Congress to exercise some much-needed oversight.
But the test is whether legislators will use the power of the purse to make a real difference for children by keeping families together and shifting the focus away from detention.
With senators and representatives home for the August recess, the American people have a pivotal opportunity to demand change now.
In mid-June, we interviewed children detained at the US Border Patrol facility in Clint, Texas, as monitors for the 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement, which requires the government to release children from detention as promptly as possible and to hold children in safe and sanitary conditions when they are detained.