Advocacy, Letter from the Executive Director, Refugee and Immigration Services

End the Detention and Separation of Children from their Families

One year ago, we co-published a letter with The Columbus Foundation and the United Way of Central Ohio, condemning the then-new federal policy of interning and separating children from their families along our Southern border.

Crestfallen, the Human Service Chamber is compelled to reiterate its vehement opposition not only to this ongoing policy, but to squalid conditions in immigration-related facilities across the country.
We are prompted to reaffirm our call for bipartisan and urgent ameliorative action in these days immediately after Ohio’s U.S. Senators visited detention centers along the border, facilities with conditions a federal government report recently described as “dangerous.
We are pleased that Senator Brown and Senator Portman are eager to pursue bipartisan solutions to this humanitarian crisis. But it is long since past time to act.

new report from the U.S. House Oversight Committee found that the White House separated at least 18 infants from their families for up to six months, and that at least 30 children have been separated from their families for over a year.

The current administration’s immigration policies “pose serious harm to the psychological well-being of immigration children, their U.S.-born siblings, and other family members,” according to the American Psychological Association.

Perhaps most jarring of all: 6 children have died in U.S. custody since September 2018.


No such deaths had occurred in the previous decade.

“What you do to children matters,” Toni Morrison once wrote. “And they might never forget.”