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2014-7

For the Protection of Central American Children Fleeing Violence

DELEGATE ANA SOL GUTIERREZ IMMIGRATION TASK FORCE

WHEREAS, According to a recent study by Immigration Policy Center, main causes for migrating are: persistent violence, extreme poverty, and desire for family unification.

WHEREAS, Many Unaccompanied Children coming to the U.S. from Central America are victims of poverty, violence, abuse, or abandonment.

WHEREAS, According to current U.S. laws, it is unlawful to deport Central American children without a hearing before an immigration judge; and unaccompanied children cannot legally be forced to sign for “voluntary departure” or “expedited removal”.

WHEREAS, Unaccompanied Children in DHS detention centers too often are facing harsh, inhumane conditions that violate human rights and international accords while in the custody of U.S. institutions,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that NHCSL joins with other national, state, and local organizations in support of Central American children fleeing violence to strongly urge the Obama Administration and Congress to ensure the following minimum universal protections for these unaccompanied minors:

1) The Prompt Release of Children from Detention Centers, including:

• Placement for children in Least Restrictive setting appropriate to the age, gender, and special needs of child

• Custody must ensure safety, food, shelter, dignity and respect for every child.

• Implementation of standards of treatment including: transportation arrangements, legal representation, telephone access, health care, counseling, education, recreation, and religious services.

2) Legal Representation for Every Child and the Assurance of Due Process and Protection of Human Rights.

3) No Speedy Deportation of Children and No to Unsafe Repatriation Practices

4) Prompt Family Reunification. No more breaking up of families through deportations.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NHCSL, calls upon Congress, state, national, and international leaders to come together to seek real solutions to this humanitarian crisis;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NHCSL will also communicate to the appropriate official entities its support for urgent action to address the root causes of extreme poverty and violence in the region including the Presidents of the United States, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, as well as with leaders and experts of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Organization of American States, World Bank, and other regional and international organizations

THIS RESOLUTION WAS ADOPTED ON OCTOBRE 03, 2014 AT THE NHCSL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE & BUSINESS BOARD OF ADVISOR MEETING HELD IN WASHINGTON, DC. RATIFIED ON DECEMBER 9, 2014 AT THE NHCSL ANNUAL MEETING HELD IN SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO.