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The Biden administration is considering renewing family detention to deter families and their children who are seeking protection from coming to the United States, the New York Times reported on March 6, 2023. Such a policy, if adopted, would be contrary to President Joe Biden’s promises to create a fair, orderly, and humane immigration system.

The action is being considered in response to the expected expiration in May of Title 42, a public health law. Then-President Donald Trump first used Title 42 to immediately expel people seeking safety at the US-Mexico border.

In response, Vicki B. Gaubeca, associate director of US Immigration and Border Policy at Human Rights Watch, said:

“Human Rights Watch is extremely concerned with the Biden administration’s potential plan to detain families. Jailing children and their parents is an unacceptable and cruel approach to dealing with families seeking protection from harm, hoping to reunite with relatives in the US, or wanting a better life. Such detention policies would continue to subject children to serious, deliberate harm, in violation of their basic rights.

“President Biden and the US government should do better than locking people up. Instead of resorting to punitive models that have proven to be both ineffective and harmful, the Biden administration should be creating humane processes at ports of entry that respect the rights, humanity, and dignity of all people arriving to US borders.”

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