Border

The House and Senate speak out against charging migrant parents up to $8/min. to speak with their kids

phone calls

Photo: Getty Image.

Immigrants held in detention centers are being charged up to $ 8 per minute to make a phone call to talk to their children, from whom they have been separated by the authorities, under the Zero Tolerance policy.

A group of 145 legislators led by Congressmen Jared Polis and Luis Gutiérrez, as well as by Senator Patty Murray, sent a letter to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) to put an end to this practice.

“We write to urge you to implement immediate, nationwide changes that will permit individuals who have been separated from their children to make phone calls regularly and at no expense to them. […] No one–not private detention facilities, nor the federal government–should be in any way enriched by detained parents trying to speak with their children.”

Read the entire letter here.

ICE detention standards state that immigration detention facilities shall permit detainees to make direct or free calls to “immediate family or others for detainees in personal or family emergencies [….]”

“Nobody should profit off of the suffering of separated migrant children and parents. The callousness of President Trump’s family separation policy knows no bounds. These mothers, fathers, babies, and young children came here with nothing to their names, seeking refuge. We shouldn’t allow them to be exploited by private corporations in order to simply locate and speak with their children by phone. ICE should follow its own stated policy, and allow migrant parents to call their children freely,” said Polis.

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