Today, First Focus Campaign for Children sent a letter to Reps. Debbie Lesko and Mariannette Miller-Meeks — authors of H.R. 801,the Securing the Border for Public Health Act of 2023, to express our opposition to the bill and to urge them to instead support legislation that advances the safety and well-being of immigrant children and families.

Excerpt from the letter:

Over several years, the demographic of those arriving at our border seeking safety has shifted to a greater proportion of children and families.1 These children and families make a perilous journey to flee persecution, trafficking, and abuse in their countries of origin.2 Too often when families arrive at our borders and request humanitarian protection, they are met with detention and a complex and confusing immigration system that they must navigate without support, at an increased risk of being returned to the very persecution, trafficking, or abuse they fled. We are concerned that rather than promoting children’s health and safety, this legislation would create unsurmountable barriers to children and families’ access to the humanitarian protection afforded them under federal law.

Read the full letter here.