FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 1st, 2019
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CWS Mourns Child’s Death in Federal Custody, Calls for Full Investigation of Southwest Key Facility
Congress must hold the administration accountable for deaths under its watch and reject policies that separate families, detain children, and deny asylum seekers protection
Washington, D.C. – In response to reports that a child has died while in federal custody at a Southwest Key Facility in Arizona, Rev. John L. McCullough, President and CEO of Church World Service issued the following statement:
“For the third time in five months, I find myself writing a statement mourning the loss of a child, made in the image of God, who was seeking safety among us. Children who have asked us for help, seeking protection from violence. These children should have been greeted with compassion, not detention. We urge Congress to hold the administration accountable to U.S. asylum laws and our moral obligation to treat children with the utmost care. The administration must immediately and fully investigate this case, and Congress must invest in community-based residential care, post-release services, and home studies for unaccompanied children. We mourn the loss of this child and call on Congress to hold the administration accountable for yet another tragedy and treat children with the dignity they deserve.”
Since 1946, Church World Service has supported refugees, immigrants and other displaced individuals, in addition to providing sustainable relief and development solutions to communities that wrestle with hunger and poverty. Learn more about our work and join our global homebase for refugee solidarity at GreaterAs1.org.