Doctors for America Condemns the Separation of Immigrant Families and Demands the Release of Family Members in Detention.



(San Antonio) Dona Kim Murphey, MD PhD,
[email protected], (713) 459-0450

(Berks County, PA) Jessica Williams, MD,
[email protected], (412) 996-8309

Karla Graue Pratt
Interim Executive Director
[email protected]



HOUSTON (July 1, 2020) – Doctors for America (DFA), an organization that works with doctors, doctors in-training, and health advocates in all 50 states to put patients over politics and to improve health across the country, demands the release of families together, upon release of children by order of Judge Dolly Gee.

ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is detaining thousands of migrants and asylum seekers — among them at least 100 children in three ICE “Family Residential Centers” (FRCs) in Texas and Pennsylvania. In the setting of eleven positive cases of COVID at the Karnes City facility near San Antonio, Judge Dolly Gee of the U.S. District Court for Central District of California ordered the release of all children living in FRCs by July 17. She condemned the lack of compliance all of the recommendations made by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“These facilities have a terrible record of denying medical care to children, a problem compounded in the post-COVID era by the unnecessary confinement of immigrant families to congregant care settings. But releasing the children is not enough. It is within ICE’s purview to release parents WITH their children. To do anything less would be grossly inhumane,” said Dona Kim Murphey, MD PhD, a board member for Doctors for America and Director of Medical Initiatives for Project Lifeline, engaged in medicolegal advocacy for migrant children.

In San Antonio, on July 10th at 10am, physicians, faith leaders, and immigrants rights allies will hold a press conference, rally, and car caravan and demand that families be released together from ICE detention centers. The press conference and rally will begin at 10am at Karnes. The car caravan will travel from Karnes at 409 FM-1144, Karnes City, TX 78118 to Dilley (South Texas Residential Center) at 300 El Rancho Way, Dilley, TX 78017.

There will be a sister action in the Pennyslvania State Capitol Complex, 501 N. 3rd St, Harrisburg, PA 17120, 10 am – noon to demand release of families incarcerated at the Berks Detention Center.

Partner organizations include: Doctors for America, Doctors for Camp Closure, SA Stands, Party for Socialism and Liberation – San Antonio, Party for Socialism and Liberation, ABOUT FACE: VAW South Texas Members and Allies, About Face: Veterans Against the War, Voces Sin Fronteras: Voices Without Borders, Voices of Indigenous Resistance, Texas Organizing Project, Children at Risk, Shut Down Berks Coalition, Shut Down Berks Interfaith Witness, CASA Pennsylvania, Milpa – Harrisburg, PA, and Berks Stands Up.

For background on this crisis and avenues for action, join us for a virtual press conference that we will co-host with Children at Risk on July 7, 2020, 1-2p CST. We will be joined by Andrea Meza, Director of Family Detention Services, RAICES; Shalyn Fluharty, Director of the Dilley Pro Bono Project; Bridget Cambria, ALDEA; and Padma Swamy, MD, Co-Chair, Immigrant Health Committee, Doctors For Change, LINK. Zoom and livestream details TBD.

About Doctors For America
Doctors for America (DFA) is an independent non-profit organization of over 20,000 physicians and medical students across the country who are trained to mobilize so that patients are put before politics and profits and that the health of our patients, communities, and nation is improved.

For more information, please visit

Immigrant Health Justice