Pelosi Sends Letter to President Trump on Treatment of Migrant Children and Families

July 2, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent the following letter to President Trump last night, reiterating the urgent need for policies to ensure the safety, health and well-being of migrant families and children, as House-led delegations inspect facilities at the border this week.

Below is a text of the letter to the President:


July 1, 2019

The Honorable Donald J. Trump

President of the United States

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President,

Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you following the vote on humanitarian assistance at the border. As you know, I am deeply concerned that the legislation does not go far enough to prioritize the safety, health and well-being of migrant children and families.

In response to your willingness to improve conditions of these children and families, I respectfully suggest you take several important, immediate actions as proposed in the House legislation:

  1. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should immediately establish final plans, standards and protocols to protect the health and safety of individuals in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This includes protocols for medical assessments and medical emergencies; requirements for ensuring the provision of water, appropriate nutrition hygiene and sanitation needs; and standards for temporary holding facilities that adhere to the best practices for the care of children. In our conversations, you and the Vice President said our 30 day timeline to establish final plans was not achievable but did not offer an alternate deadline.   There must be a date certain to establish plans that utilize the expertise of organizations, including the American Association of Pediatrics, which have outlined standards of care for children in the care of DHS.
  2. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) should ensure that no children remain longer than 90 days in influx shelters – a requirement that should be readily achievable as reliance on influx shelters wanes with the additional $2.9 billion provided to HHS.
  3. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to ensure accountability, should notify Congress within 24 hours of the death of any child in its care.

I would deeply appreciate your soonest consideration of the proposals contained in the House legislation. My staff is ready to work with yours to achieve the best way to care for children and families. Thanks again for your attention to the safety of children at the border.



Speaker of the House