Speaker Nancy Pelosi

U.S. House of Representatives

Pelosi Statement on Trump Administration’s Indefinite Family Incarceration Rule

August 21, 2019
Press Release

San Francisco – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement on the Trump Administration’s new rule, which would end decades-long, court-imposed protections for children and families at the border and allow for the indefinite detention of vulnerable families without basic standards of care:

"The Administration is seeking to codify child abuse, plain and simple.  Its appalling, inhumane family incarceration plan would rip away basic protections for children’s human rights, reversing decades-long and court-imposed rules and violating every standard of morality and civilized behavior.

"The indefinite and prolonged detention of children would compound the cruelty and accelerate the heart-breaking humanitarian situation at the border, worsening conditions for children already forced to sleep on concrete floors, eat inedible food and be denied basic sanitation and standards of care.  As the American Academy of Pediatrics has written, ‘No child should be placed in detention…even short periods of detention can cause psychological trauma and long-term mental health risks.'

"This inhumane and utterly unconscionable rule circumvents the conditions set in the Flores settlement, and we expect the District Court to swiftly strike it down.  Democrats continue to call on this Administration to end its assault on families and children, and to join us to protect families and preserve America’s heritage as a beacon of hope, freedom and opportunity for all."