Population Care

Southern border: Extension of family detention

According to the most recent data published by the federal government 473,682 family units were apprehended at the southwest U.S. border in 2019. Due to the negative health consequences of detention, the AMA opposes the expansion of family immigration detention in the United States.

Immigration advocacy

See how the AMA advocates for immigrants.

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  • On Sept. 7, 2018, DHS and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a proposed rule titled, “Apprehension, Processing, Care, and Custody of Alien Minors and Unaccompanied Alien Children. In the rule, DHS/HHS proposed to expand long-term detention of migrating families. The AMA adopted policy specifically opposing the expansion of family immigration detention in the U.S. On Oct. 29, 2018, the AMA submitted a comment letter opposing the proposed rule.
  • On Aug. 21, 2019, the Administration announced the release of the final rule. In addition, the AMA, and others, filed an amicus brief describing the impact of the final rule on the health of migrating children and their families. On Sept. 27 a federal judge issued a permanent injunction blocking the Administration from moving ahead with its final rule on indefinite family detention.

Additional advocacy activities

Learn about the AMA's advocacy efforts related to: