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On the separation of children in immigrant families from their caregivers

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July 26, 2019 (updated August 9, 2019)


Contact: August Aldebot-Green,, 206.774.7238

For nearly 40 years, the National Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian ad Litem (CASA/GAL) Association for Children has advocated for the best interests of children who have experienced abuse or neglect.

One of our guiding principles is that children are better off when they remain with their families of origin, whenever safely possible. We have seen the trauma that children experience when they are separated from their family members. Such separation is most often detrimental to children’s well-being. Its negative impacts can be long-lasting and severe.

We know that separation of children from their families under any circumstance, including the placement of migrant children in government custody or the deportation of a parent, can result in life-long trauma for children and families. While CASA and GAL programs and volunteers do not work in the courts and agencies handling the immigration cases for migrant children or immigrant parents, our volunteers can support children who have suffered the trauma of separation in family or juvenile court if they fall under the jurisdiction of these courts, and we urge the appointment of a CASA or GAL volunteer in these cases. 

CASA and GAL volunteers support best-interest advocacy for all children and can help courts make the most well-informed decisions possible regarding matters that will impact children and their families throughout their lives.