Washington, DC June 9, 2017 – Yesterday, the Trump administration officially terminated the Family Case Management Program (FCMP). Since its inception in 2016, the program provided a method of compliance enforcement for vulnerable populations such as pregnant women, nursing mothers, families with very young children, and families with other special needs that was a viable and cost-effective alternative to detention.
Despite initial concerns in the advocacy community that the program was contracted to a prison company, the program developed into a successful model that filled both government interests in ensuring compliance, and the needs of traumatized families. The federal program paired case workers with immigrant families to help integrate detained families back into the community and to help them navigate the U.S. court system as a condition of release. Hiring case workers to help ensure that immigrants appear in court as opposed to detaining families has proved to be less harmful and less costly.
Michelle Brané, Director of the Migrant Rights and Justice program at the Women’s Refugee Commission responded with the following statement:
“We strongly condemn the decision to close the Family Case Management Program. This administration has chosen to continue detaining families at great expense and in conditions that lead to suicide attempts, while terminating an effective and much less expensive program that provided support to families who have fled unspeakable trauma and are seeking protection.”
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FCMP was active in the five metropolitan regions: Baltimore/Washington D.C., New York City/Newark, Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles. The program costs roughly $38 per day, whereas it costs more than $300 per day to detain a family at one of ICE’s Family Residential Centers (FRCs). FCMP filled an enforcement gap, promoting compliance for individuals who are otherwise not considered appropriate for detention or traditional ICE alternatives to detention (ATD) programs, such as ISAP III.
FCMP has reported approximately 99% compliance for both ICE check-ins and immigration court appearances and early comparisons between FCMP and ISAP III indicate that FCMP has a higher success rate in facilitating reliefs and removals, while having both a lower absconder rate and a lower failure rate of non-compliant cases.