Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) are worried about the Biden administration’s noncommittal approach to permanently ending family detention for migrants crossing the U.S. border. Family detention is the practice of jailing illegal immigrants with their children, including babies.
Administration officials have yet to rule out whether this policy, which was ended by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2021, may be brought back. On Monday, there were reports of internal considerations of family detention being brought back.
Following these reports, many members of the CHC expressed their frustrations, stating that the end of family detention had been the one positive immigration difference that the Biden administration had brought forth despite their less-than-stellar immigration record.
Late on Tuesday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas met with CHC members in order to put their concerns at ease, however, many members decided not to participate in the call.
Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), one of the members who skipped the call, told the Hill that they were “trying to appease some of the extremists” who are looking to completely “seal the border” and that the only reason for the call was because they felt this could be considered a “political liability” due to increased criticism. Grijalva criticized the Biden administration for potentially considering these types of policies just so that they could appease some extremists ahead of the election.
Those who attended the call felt more confident that family detention would not be coming back – at least not for the foreseeable future.