Slotkin Bill Demanding Humane Treatment of Migrants in Detention Passes House with Bipartisan Support

July 26, 2019
Press Release
Slotkin’s Short-Term Detention Standards Act expands requirements to provide basic necessities to migrants in short-term custody

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin’s (MI-08) Short-Term Detention Standards Act, which requires the Administration by law to provide the full range of basic necessities to migrants in short-term custody, passed the U.S. House of Representatives today with bipartisan support.

 

View or download footage of Rep. Slotkin’s speech on the House floor in support of her bill here.

 

The bill stipulates that Customs and Border Protection must provide migrants access to appropriate temporary shelters with bathroom and shower facilities, water, appropriate nutrition, hygiene, personal grooming items, and sanitation needs. Slotkin introduced the bill in response to recent reports detailing filthy and inhumane conditions at detention facilities on the Southern border, where migrants, particularly children, are being held by Customs and Border Protection beyond the 72 hours permitted by law and denied basic necessities, including reportedly not being allowed to shower for days and weeks, being denied access to soap, toothbrushes, and diapers. 

 

"We can protect our country and treat migrants humanely — those things aren't mutually exclusive, and I’m proud that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle joined me in passing this bill and sending that message,” Slotkin said. “The Short-Term Detention Standards Act is a bipartisan bill that expands requirements under law to ensure migrants in detention receive the full range of basic necessities they are too often going without, and I’m so proud to see it pass the House today.”

 

“To be clear: providing adequate nutrition, hygiene and bathroom facilities to migrant children in our care is the bare minimum of what we must do, and there is so much more we must do to alleviate the crisis at our Southern border, including addressing our broken immigration system. As a member of the Homeland Security Committee — and particularly after my trip to the Southern border last week — I will continue to fight for bipartisan solutions that secure our border while upholding our nation’s values. We can and must do both."

 

 

Slotkin, as a member of the Homeland Security Committee, has taken steps to exercise critical oversight over the Department of Homeland Security and the treatment of migrants in its care. She has spoken out against the Administration’s inhumane treatment of migrants at the border, visited Northern border facilities in Michigan to speak directly with Customs and Border Protection officers, and visited the Southern border as part of a bipartisan group of members this month.

 

The Short-Term Detention Standards Act:

 

  • Under the Homeland Security Act of 2002, only “adequate access to food and water” is required to be provided to migrants in short-term U.S. custody. 

 

  • This bill extends the law to require Customs and Border Protection to ensure the provision of appropriate temporary shelter with access to bathroom and shower facilities, water, appropriate nutrition, hygiene, personal grooming items, and sanitation needs.
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