T-A-L & ADPSR joint statement on immigration enforcement in the US

The Architecture Lobby and ADPSR condemn the Justice Department’s zero-tolerance immigration enforcement policy issued on April 6, 2018. It is immoral and inhumane to separate children from their parents, and to use family separation to deter people seeking refuge or asylum. The United States must uphold international and U.S. laws protecting people fleeing violence and persecution. We are appalled that the current administration is putting children and parents in distress to justify increased funding for border militarization. Architecture is a state-licensed profession that obliges architects to uphold human rights, as well as the health, safety and welfare of the individual and the public in the built environment. The Architecture Lobby and ADPSR condemn all policies that use the built environment as an instrument of torture and oppression.

The Architecture Lobby and ADPSR call on architects, designers, planners and allied professionals to refuse to participate in the design of any immigration enforcement infrastructure, including but not limited to walls, checkpoints, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices, detention facilities, processing centers, or juvenile holding centers. We encourage owners, partners and employees who find themselves in practices that engage in this work to organize, and deny their labor to these projects. For too long, architects have been complicit in human caging by designing and building these structures. Architects designed the facilities where children call out for their parents at night. Architects also designed the extensive network of facilities where their parents shiver in frigid holding cells. History has taught us that what is strictly legal is not always what is just. It is time for this to end. We call on professionals to join us in this pledge: We will not design cages for people.

On the eve of the American Institute of Architects’ 2018 “Blueprint for Better Cities” convention, The Architecture Lobby and ADPSR call on the AIA to prove its commitment to making more diverse, equitable, inclusive, resilient, and healthy places for all people. If the AIA is committed to this goal then it must actively work to divest the profession from the production of dehumanizing infrastructures.The AIA should uphold their “Where we stand” statement on immigration by making a public statement condemning the use of architecture to enforce these inhumane policies, and making this work an excommunicable violation of AIA membership. Neither membership dues nor sponsorship dollars are worth the human cost of caging immigrants. Architects must design “better” places through inclusion and democratic power, not though exclusion and caging.