Release date: 6/24/2019
(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today urged the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to answer questions about children and adults being held at the border.
Full text of the letter can be found here. Excerpts are below:
“Like millions of other Americans, I am extremely concerned about the conditions at U.S. government detention facilities. It was truly appalling to see video of a Trump administration lawyer arguing to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit last Friday that the detention facilities where the administration holds children along the border with Mexico are “safe and sanitary.” How can these claims be made when children are denied access to basic items like soap, toothbrushes, and adequate blankets, and are forced to sleep on cold, concrete floors with lights shining all night?
“While I recognize that the federal government is responsible for controlling immigration and border security, I have a duty to protect the interests of the people of North Carolina. There are likely a number of children in these detention facilities who have close family members in North Carolina. I am therefore writing to request that DHS immediately provide to my office a list, organized by the relevant case number assigned by DHS and omitting personally identifying information, of any children who have parents, legal guardians, or other family members in North Carolina, along with contact information for those parents, legal guardians, or other family members in North Carolina.
“Given the horrific conditions these individuals are experiencing, and the profound long-term impact such treatment has on children in particular, I request that you provide me this information immediately. If there is anything that my office can do to assist in identifying or locating family members or legal guardians with whom these children can be reunited, please let me know.
“Last year, I wrote to Secretary Nielsen, Commissioner McAleenan, Acting Director Homan and Director Lloyd to request information about parents and children in North Carolina, or expected to be in North Carolina, who had been separated from their families as a result of the federal government’s “zero-tolerance” family-separation policy. I did not receive a response. I strongly urge you to respond to this and last year’s letter. If your offices are avoiding response due to lack of information, please let me know so that we can provide assistance.
“The reports from the border are devastating and call for immediate action.”
Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484