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Statement Regarding Separation of Children and Parents During the Immigration Process

Updated June 29, 2018

For nearly 40 years the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (National CASA) has advocated for the best interests of children who have experienced abuse or neglect. One of our guiding principles is that children are better off when they remain with their families of origin if safely possible. We also know the long-term effects of trauma that children experience when they are separated from their parents, which are most often detrimental to their well-being and can have long-term negative impact. While CASA programs and volunteers work in family or juvenile court systems, not the federal court system, we support best-interest advocacy for all children.

We have been deeply concerned about the family separations at the Southwest border and joined many other voices calling on our legislators to address this issue. We are pleased with the recent federal court order to reunite impacted families within the time frame outlined and to halt most additional family separations. This is in the best interest of these children.

If children involved in immigration proceedings become involved in family or juvenile court, we urge the appointment of a CASA/GAL volunteer to advocate for the child’s best interest
and help the court make the most well-informed decision in these tremendously important matters. We ask our nation’s legislators to carefully consider the impacts on children when
they address immigration legislation so that no child is subjected to further trauma. National CASA thanks those who have spoken out on behalf of the welfare of these children. Together we can make a difference.