Front-Line Immigration Whistleblowers Condemn the Elimination of Limits on Detention of Children 

 Government Accountability Project Clients Denounce Overturn of Flores Agreement

WASHINGTON – Today, Government Accountability Project clients and immigration whistleblowers Drs. Scott Allen and Pamela McPherson, medical and mental health subject matter experts on detention for the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL), spoke out in opposition to the Trump administration’s decision to overturn the Flores settlement agreement, which sets national standards for the treatment and detention of minors within DHS custody. 

“DHS and ICE are deliberately, and knowingly, harming children in their effort to advance a zero-tolerance immigration policy. The decision to expand family detention and eliminate the 20-day limit on the detention of children is the most flagrant example of their willful disregard of the overwhelming evidence of the harm we warned would occur to date,” said Drs. Allen and McPherson.

As we noted in our written opposition to this policy, detention, even for a short amount of time, has been proven to be devastating to a child’s physical and psychological development, health and well-being.”

“DHS has chosen to ignore its own medical experts and the overwhelming consensus of the medical community by prolonging rather than limiting detention. The government’s choice to use children as political pawns reflects a degree of depravity of which we should be ashamed as a country,” said Government Accountability Project Senior Counsel and Director of Education, Dana Gold.

The doctors voiced their concerns about harms posed to children in detention to CRCL and DHS, Congress, the DHS Office of Inspector General, and the press. Their concerns have been  lauded and validated by fourteen medical professional associations

Dr. Scott Allen, Dr. Pamela McPherson, and Dana Gold are available for further comment.

Please Contact: Andrew Harman, Government Accountability Project Communications Director
Phone: (202) 457-0034 ext. 156

Government Accountability Project

Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, Government Accountability Project’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, Government Accountability Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C