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Baby Formula Shortage: A Statement from NCYL

Photo of infant sleeping

Late last week, the United States reached a disgraceful low in political discourse when high-ranking Republicans suggested that babies detained at the U.S. border are provided formula at the expense of other babies in the country. Not only is this suggestion factually inaccurate, it is also profoundly offensive to our collective moral consciousness as a nation.  

Children, no matter their race or country of origin, deserve food and water. Not only does the government have a legal obligation, as outlined in the Flores settlement agreement, to provide children in its care with adequate food and water - it should go without saying that no child should be purposefully starved. As Flores counsel, we have seen the devastating consequences of our government’s failure to care for immigrant children in its custody. Those who question why immigrant children are provided baby formula by the federal government should instead ask why the government detains any baby for any amount of time.

Furthermore, voters should ask: why are the same politicians that suggest immigrant babies should go without food simultaneously aggressively pursuing policies that harm U.S. children? If these politicians truly care about children, they will stop pursuing political goals that harm them - including efforts to strip children of their right to public education, limit the very books they can read, dictate what sports teams they can play on, and what kinds of health care they can access. 

The National Center for Youth Law remains deeply committed to protecting and defending children's rights, which, unfortunately, remain under assault.