Juvenile Law Center Calls on Government to Care and Protect All Children

On Wednesday, June 14, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee will begin review of several bills that would eviscerate the few protections that exist for vulnerable immigrant children seeking protection from traffickers or requesting protection from their persecutors. These proposed changes to the law would also undermine decades of progress in the fields of child welfare, juvenile justice and child development to ensure that all children have access to child-appropriate and fundamentally fair proceedings. Yet legislators continue to speak about fifteen year-olds who’ve traveled thousands of miles to ask for asylum as if they are walking threats, rather than children seeking safety. Last month, more than 60 child welfare organizations from across the country issued a statement of shared principles that calls on Congress to ensure that immigrant children are treated fairly by our government. Today, the Juvenile Law Center—the oldest nonprofit public interest law firm for children in the country—reminded all of us that “youth under 18 require, and deserve, the state’s care and protection” and urged Congress to reject any efforts to treat teenagers or even older adolescents the same as adults. Read the Juvenile Law Center’s full statement here.