Child Deaths Reflect Failed Immigration Policies


For Immediate Release
December 2018
Contact: Karina Martinez at karinam@mifamiliavota.org


Child Deaths Reflect Failed Immigration Policies

Family detention centers and fixation on the wall have created a crisis


Weeks after the death of a 7 year old girl in U.S. custody, an 8 year old boy also dies in a federal detention center. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced changes to the way it handles child migrants in custody on Tuesday.

Ben Monterroso, executive director of Mi Familia Vota released the following statement:

“The death of Felipe Gomez Alonso, an 8 year old boy, cannot go unanswered. Congress, Republican and Democrat alike, cannot continue turning a blind eye to immigrant deaths, reports of abuse, and inhumane conditions in detention centers. We need a full reform of our immigration policies, and an immediate stop to the Trump administration’s mass family incarceration system.

“The Trump administration, along with Republican leadership and supporters, have done everything possible to dehumanize immigrants – minimizing the harms being inflicted on our communities- and the results have been fatal. The discourse over of the wall has created false narratives of immigrants, people in pursuit of the American Dream, and this must be put to end. The wall is not a solution for immigrants and our community. Any additional funding approved by Congress for the wall and internal enforcement would mean increased contempt for people in our community, more deportations, increased detentions in abusive conditions, and more deaths.

“We have a humanitarian crisis on our hands. More medical screenings is a surface-level action that pales in comparison to the solutions we need; the immigration system must be reshaped in a way that upholds immigrant rights. In less than a week, a newly elected Congress will enter Capitol Hill and the American people expect to see the change for which they voted. Mi Familia Vota will be advocating for immigrant rights and comprehensive immigration reform every step of the way.”


Mi Familia Vota is a national civic engagement organization that unites Latino, immigrant, and allied communities to promote social and economic justice through citizenship workshops, voter registration, and voter participation. Mi Familia Vota has operations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Texas.