Slotkin Bill to Hold Administration Accountable for Humane Treatment of Migrants Passed out of Committee with Bipartisan Support

July 18, 2019
Press Release
Slotkin’s Short-Term Detention Standards Act expands requirements to provide basic necessities to migrants in short-term custody Slotkin will travel in bipartisan delegation to Southern border tomorrow to see conditions firsthand, underscore need for urgent, bipartisan action to alleviate crisis

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin’s (MI-08) Short-Term Detention Standards Act, a bill that requires the Administration by law to provide the full range of basic necessities to migrants in short-term custody, passed out of the Homeland Security Committee yesterday with bipartisan support. The bill stipulates that Customs and Border Protection must provide migrants access to bathroom and shower facilities, water, appropriate nutrition, hygiene, personal grooming items, and sanitation needs.


Slotkin will travel with a bipartisan group to visit the Southern border tomorrow, Friday, July 19, to inspect the facilities in person.


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 secure our borders and treat migrants humanely. Those things aren't mutually exclusive, and anyone who says they are doesn’t understand our nation’s values,” Slotkin said. “I'm grateful to my Republican colleagues on the Homeland Security Committee for voicing their support for my bill to require that migrants in detention receive the full range of basic necessities they are too often going without. There is so much more we must do to alleviate the crisis at our Southern border, but starting from a place of common ground is critical, and I'm proud to see my bill pass out of committee with bipartisan support.”

“Let me 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 it’s shameful that we must introduce this legislation at all,” Slotkin continued. “As a member of the Homeland Security Committee, I will continue to fight for critical oversight of the Department of Homeland Security’s treatment of migrants, including requiring the Administration follow current law, pushing legislation to provide resources for migrants, enhancing accountability measures to ensure funds are spent on their intended use, and visiting the Southern border this week to see firsthand what is happening in our name."



Slotkin, as a member of the Homeland Security Committee, is taking steps to exercise critical oversight over the Department of Homeland Security and the treatment of migrants in its care. This week, Slotkin sent a letter to acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan to demand answers on the Administration's inhumane and unlawful treatment of migrants in detention, and will travel to Southern border on Friday to inspect facilities in person. 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 plans to take a bipartisan trip to the Southern border later 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.