In the videos below, artists, lawyers, advocates, and immigrants read the sworn testimonies of children held in detention facilities at the U.S. / Mexico Border.
This project is part of a national campaign to establish legal protections for immigrant children held in U.S. government facilities.
The 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement sets a limit on the length of time a child can be detained, requires that they be held in the least restrictive area possible, and guarantees access to basic hygiene supplies, adequate nutrition, and appropriate clothing.
In June 2019, a team of lawyers who work as independent monitors of the detention facilities took more than 60 testimonies from children detailing lengthy stays, ongoing family separations, and dirty, unsafe conditions.
These sworn testimonies were submitted as exhibits in a motion for a Temporary Restraining Order filed by the National Center for Youth Law. The motion seeks to provide immediate relief to children living without access to basic hygiene supplies and adequate nutrition or sleep.
On September 27, Judge Dolly Gee of the 9th Circuit ruled against the Trump administration's proposal to end the Flores Settlement Agreement entirely, which would allow indefinite detention and eliminate independent oversight. The administration is likely to appeal this ruling, increasing the likelihood that this matter will be heard by the Supreme Court.
The need to raise awareness, organize, and take action is urgent.
This project was created by Waterwell and the Broadway Advocacy Coalition as part of Project Amplify's national campaign to bring visibility to the testimonies of migrant children and young adults held in detention at the U.S. / Mexico border.
The Flores Exhibits aims to influence systemic change in our immigration policies through narrative-driven advocacy. It is designed as another way for the American public to understand the details of how the current immigration policy negatively affects immigrant children, young adults and young mothers with children.
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This project is generously supported by the Ford Foundation and Jayne Baron Sherman and Deby Zum through The Sherzum Fund at Our Fund. Waterwell Films, EOTI Productions, Butter Studio and Sam Sweeney contributed in-kind services.