Replacing the cruelty of family separation with family detention is not a meaningful solution

June 22, 2018

In response to the overwhelming public outcry against the policy of separating children from their parents at the border, President Trump has signed an executive order ending the policy of removing children from their parents when parents are imprisoned for the crossing the border when unauthorized, in many cases to seek asylum.

The administration has not changed their “zero tolerance” policy, however. This will likely place large numbers of migrant parents and children who are seeking protection in U.S. detention facilities together. If children are left in detention for more than 20 days with their parents, this would be illegal according to an existing 1997 consent decree, known as the Flores settlement. Replacing the cruelty of family separation with family detention is not a meaningful solution. LASA calls on the U.S. administration to end zero tolerance, recognize the right of asylum seekers to a hearing, and to stop criminalizing refugees and immigrants.


About LASA

The Latin American Studies Association (LASA) is the largest professional association in the world for individuals and institutions engaged in the study of Latin America. With over 13,000 members, over 60% of whom reside outside the United States, LASA is the one association that brings together experts on Latin America from all disciplines and diverse occupational endeavors, across the globe. LASA's mission is to foster intellectual discussion, research, and teaching on Latin America, the Caribbean, and its people throughout the Americas, promote the interests of its diverse membership, and encourage civic engagement through network building and public debate.

If you wish to interview a LASA Executive Council member, you can contact the LASA communications office at (412) 648-7929 or send an email to