ELCA Advocacy Alert



Dear Advocate,

On September 7th, the Administration proposed a regulation change that will undermine existing child protection standards for immigrant children. The proposed regulation would overturn minimum child protection standards set by the courts in the 1997 Flores Agreement.  

While the Flores Agreement outlines that children are not safe in detention facilities and should not be kept in detention for longer than 20 days, the proposed regulation allows the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to keep children in detention indefinitely, despite the psychological and physical toll of detention. Additionally, the rule would allow to DHS, not qualified state agencies, to set its own standards and auditors to certify a facility as “child-friendly.” This will likely mean that detention centers might be qualified as child appropriate even if state experts disagree due to poor conditions. 

While the regulation titled “Apprehension, Processing, Care, and Custody of Alien Minors and Unaccompanied Alien Children” has been proposed, there is a 60-day period when members of the public, congregations and faith leaders can provide feedback to DHS on the rule. The deadline to submit a comment is Nov. 6.

The ELCA has historically stood against the detention of children and families. Detaining families seeking protection is immoral. Join us advocating against the unlimited detention of children! 

Here is what you can do:

  1. Review the sample interfaith comments by the Interfaith Immigration Coalition. Feel free to use the additional resources included in this resource. 
  2. Submit your comment using a user-friendly platform before November 6. Draft and customize why YOU/YOUR CONGREGATION/YOUR COMMUNITY is against this rule. 
  3. Let others in your community and congregations know about this proposed rule change and urge them to submit comments!


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