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Thanks to everyone who sent the Legislative Alert and CSWA Position Paper on “Rights of Immigrant Children” to their members of Congress. I know from the almost 100 confirmations I received that we did our part to inform Republican legislators about the harm being done to immigrant children from their parents.
LCSWs have a moral and professional responsibility to insure that any vulnerable people in our country receive the care they deserve. It was stunning to learn that before the terrible “zero tolerance” policy, there were already 10,000 immigrant children being held in custody by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. If one positive thing came out of the misery caused over the last 2-1/2 months, it is the awareness that there are many more children who need to be protected from the ‘shelters’ by untrained people that they are in. The so-called “tender age” shelters for children under 5 are nothing short of child abuse and need to be stopped.
You may have noticed that social workers were named as some of the workers overseeing the welfare of the children in these shelters. I am still trying to get confirmation of what that means. As we know, the term is often used without any social work education behind it or any clinical social work training on human development. Any qualified social worker who is engaging in this work is violating social work codes of ethics.
There are still unsolved problems. There is a law that says children cannot be kept in custody (the recent policy change aside) for more than 20 days. That could lead to further separations as immigrants wait for their court dates. The whole issue of the “Dreamers” and DACA is in need of a plan. CSWA will continue to work on these issues which are so connected to our values and our practices.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
PO Box 10, Garrisonville, Virginia 22463 | firstname.lastname@example.org