Like many of our allies in the movement for immigrant and refugee rights, we at the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (CGRS) have been deeply shaken by the virulent racism, misogyny, and anti-immigrant rhetoric that has plagued the 2016 election cycle. The proposed policies of our president-elect and the rhetoric around them run contrary to America’s most cherished values of dignity, equality, and respect for human rights. In these trying times, we stand in coalition and solidarity with refugee and immigrant communities and affirm our commitment to do all we can to protect the rights of asylum seekers, including women, children, and LGBT individuals.

The ACLU of Northern California, the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project (IRP), the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies at UC Hastings College of the Law (CGRS), and pro bono counsel at Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila (RSHC) today filed suit against the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for refusing to release documents that would shed light on the agency’s treatment of asylum seekers.

The detention of Central American families – mothers with their children – has been a controversial issue since it was adopted broadly as a policy in 2014 by the Obama Administration in response to increased numbers of families seeking protection in the United States. Last week, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Advisory Committee on Family Residential Centers, of which CGRS Director Karen Musalo is a member, released an extensive report and recommendations on a range of issues related to family detention, now available online.