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Opinion >  Letters

Prison not the answer

As the administration responds to a court mandate to reunite the more than 2,000 kids separated from their parents at the United States border, we must ensure that it gives children and families due process, instead of imprisoning them indefinitely. Proposing to reunite children with their families and then imprisoning them for months or years in jails or detention centers is no solution, nor is forcing them to return to the violence and danger they risked their lives to flee.

There are alternatives to family detention that keep families together. For example, asylum-seeking families could be released from detention through a case management supervision program that costs just $36 per day, as opposed to family detention, which costs $798 per family, per day.

How we treat new immigrants reflects our commitment to the values that define us as Americans. I believe that families should stick together, that we should look out for each other, and that hard work should be rewarded. If we all speak out, we can make sure our leaders create a fair immigration process that is true to the values we aspire to as a nation.

Merry Brown-Hayes

Sandpoint, Idaho


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