This International Migrants Day, the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS) calls on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to stop detaining women and children who have come to the United States seeking refuge from serious human rights abuses. After surviving horrific violence in their home countries as well as during the journey to the U.S., they should be allowed to pursue their legal right to seek asylum or other relief without being locked up.

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.