Sending Office: Honorable Raul Ruiz
Sent By:
Ivelisse.Porroa@mail.house.gov

Cosponsor H.R. 3239, the Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in CBP Custody Act

Updated cosponsors: 169 Members

Endorsed by the New Democrat Coalition

Endorsed by (35): American Academy of Pediatrics, Center for American Progress, Kids In Need of Defense (KIND), Physicians for Human Rights, American Medical Association, American Public Health Association,
Public Health Institute, American College of Emergency Physicians, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, National Hispanic
Nurses Association, the Epilepsy Foundation, UnidosUS, Human Rights First, Families Belong Together, Doctors For America, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), Immigration Hub,
Church World Service, First Focus, Bipartisan Policy Center, Director of Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, Southern California Providers for Health Equality, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, Friends Committee
on National Legislation, Catholic Charities of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, Catholic Charities California, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach, United
Church of Christ: Justice and Local Church Ministries.

 

Dear Colleague,

Please join me in supporting H.R. 3239, the Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Custody Act, which would establish basic and humanitarian standards of care for individuals in CBP custody.

The CBP facilities on our southern border are understaffed, unprepared, and underequipped to hold and process the high influx of migrant families and children seeking refuge in the U.S. The overcrowded processing centers, freezing
temperatures, individuals sleeping on the floors, and lack of private bathrooms are some of the inhumane conditions that put families and children at risk. Within the last eight months, there have been reports of a total of seven children who have died while
in the custody of the federal government, or soon after: Jakelin Caal, Felipe Gomez Alonzo, Juan De Leon Gutierrez, Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez, Wilmer Josué Ramírez Vásquez, 
Mariee Juarez, and Darlyn Valle.

That is why I introduced the Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in CBP Custody Act. This legislation will require every individual in CBP custody to receive a health screening by a medical professional to identify acute conditions and high-risk vulnerabilities.
Each facility will be required to maintain the personnel and equipment necessary to conduct health screenings and provide emergency care, including basic medication, emergency transportation, and interpreters. In addition, the bill will create standards on
nutrition; water, sanitation, and hygiene; and shelter.

Our American values, moral conscience, and Constitution require us to treat all individuals humanely. In the event that the federal government restricts the free movement of an individual – including their detainment by CBP – then it is the federal government’s
responsibility to respect these basic rights and uphold the dignity of human life throughout the process. Unfortunately, the government is not currently equipped to meet those standards. It is critical that our agents have the equipment, resources, and training
to protect the health and safety of the individuals in their custody.

Our values as a nation demand we take action to prevent the needless loss of another child in the custody of our federal government. That is why I urge you to cosponsor H.R. 3239, the Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in CBP Custody Act. We must bring
humanity back to our treatment of migrant families and children and prevent another tragic death.

If you have any questions or would like to cosponsor this legislation, please contact Ivelisse.Porroa@mail.house.gov.

 

Sincerely,

Raul Ruiz

 

 

H.R. 3239, the Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in CBP Custody Act

Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D.

 

Summary: This legislation would establish basic humanitarian standards of care for individuals in U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody.

Background and Need:

The CBP facilities on our southern border are understaffed, unprepared, and underequipped to hold and process the high influx of migrant families and children seeking refuge in the U.S. Overcrowded processing centers, freezing temperatures,
individuals sleeping on the floors, and lack of private bathrooms are some of the inhumane conditions that put families and children at risk
[1] [2].
Within the last eight months, there have been reports of a total of seven children who have died while in the custody of the federal government, or soon after: Jakelin Caal, Felipe Gomez Alonzo, Juan De Leon Gutierrez, Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez, Wilmer
Josué Ramírez Vásquez, Mariee Juarez, and Darlyn Valle.

How It Would Work:

  • Health Screening and Emergency Care – Every person in CBP custody will receive a health screening by a medical professional to identify acute conditions and high-risk vulnerabilities. Each facility must maintain personnel and equipment
    necessary to conduct health screenings and provide emergency care, including basic medication, emergency transportation, and interpreters.
  • Water, Sanitation, Hygiene Standards – Every person in CBP custody will have undeterred access to drinking water; private, safe, clean, and reliable toilets with proper waste disposal; a handwashing station; and basic personal hygiene products.
  • Nutrition Standards – Every person in CBP custody will receive the medically appropriate number of calories for age and weight to height ratio, including special diets for babies, pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as the elderly
    and ill.
  • Shelter Standards – The holding facilities must maintain specific shelter and environmental standards, such as minimum space requirements, specified temperature ranges, and appropriate bedding.
  • Coordination and Surge Capacity – CBP will enter into Memoranda of Understanding with appropriate federal agencies to address these needs by using a coordinated approach.
  • Training – CBP will provide appropriate training for officers to implement the requirements set forth in this legislation.

 


[1] https://www.oig.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/assets/2019-05/OIG-19-46-May19.pdf

[2] https://www.hrw.org/report/2018/02/28/freezer/abusive-conditions-women-and-children-us-immigration-holding-cells

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