Our Statements

The Center for Family Representation (CFR) fights for the dignity and self-determination of the primarily Black and Brown parents and youth who are targeted by systems of family policing and incarceration. We release public statements on timely events and policy decisions that directly impact the communities we serve and align with the positions we have taken in our policy platform. When publishing statements, our goals are to add CFR’s unique perspective to the larger conversation, uplift the work of advocates and communities fighting for justice, and offer relevant resources to our readers.

Statement in Response to Mayor Adams' Plan to Force Asylum-Seeking Families Out of Homeless Shelters

Thursday, October 19, 2023 – Earlier this week, Mayor Eric Adams confirmed his administration’s plan to force asylum-seeking families out of homeless shelters after only 60 days. Under this policy, even asylum-seeking families with very young children in their care would be forced to reapply for shelter every 60 days. Read our full statement here.

Statement Condemning SCOTUS Ruling on Affirmative Action

Monday, July 3, 2023 – Last Thursday, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled 6-3 against race-conscious admissions programs at Harvard and the University of North Carolina, rolling back decades of legal precedent for affirmative action. In a country that continues to be plagued by systemic racism, the Center for Family Representation (CFR) stands firmly against SCOTUS’s abhorrent decision. Read our full statement here.

Statement on the Killing of Jordan Neely

Friday, May 5, 2023 – Jordan Neely, an unhoused Black man, suffered an apparent mental health episode aboard a Manhattan subway train. Neely reportedly screamed, “I don’t have food, I don’t have a drink, I’m fed up” while throwing his jacket on the floor. Another passenger, an ex-Marine, put Neely in a chokehold while two other men restrained Neely’s arms and legs. Instead of being met with compassion, Neely had his life squeezed out of him by three strangers. Read our full statement here.

Statement on Proposed Rollbacks to Current Discovery Laws

Tuesday, April 18, 2023 – The Center for Family Representation (CFR) strongly opposes any rollbacks to the current discovery laws, especially ones negotiated in the secrecy of the New York State budget process. Gutting these laws would diminish prosecutorial accountability and result in more wrongful convictions. Read our full statement here.

CFR Denounces SCOTUS Decision Overturning Roe v. Wade

Friday, June 24, 2022 – On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) handed down a decision striking down Roe v. Wade, leaving access to legal and safe abortion up to the states – about half of which plan to ban the medical procedure. The Center for Family Representation (CFR) condemns this harmful decision and stands in solidarity with all those whose access to abortion will be restricted or eliminated entirely. Read our full statement here.

Statement in Response to the Racially-Motivated Mass Shooting in Buffalo, New York

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 – On May 14th, 2022, 13 people were killed or injured by an 18-year-old gunman espousing white supremacist ideology. The mass shooting occurred at Tops Supermarket in a primarily Black and Brown neighborhood in Buffalo, New York. Eleven of the victims were Black. No words can soothe the pain and loss that this act of racist terrorism has brought.

As we continue to process this tragic hate crime, we recognize that as an organization, CFR represents primarily Black and Brown families – the same types of families who were violently targeted last weekend. Each day, CFR’s clients routinely face extreme scrutiny by the very systems that are meant to uplift them. Read our full statement here.

New York City Defenders Request Reinstatement of Protections of the Family Court Act

Friday, June 4, 2021 – Read our letter to Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Heastie to immediately end all suspensions of Articles Three and Ten of the Family Court Act (“FCA”) that were imposed pursuant to Executive Orders issued in response to the pandemic crisis (the “EOs”).

For more than a year, the Executive Orders have been interpreted by the New York City Family Court Administration and many individual Family Court judges as eliminating constitutional and statutory rights of families threatened with separation or juvenile detention in New York State. These orders, in conjunction with Administrative Orders issued by the Chief Administrative Judge, have resulted in great harm to thousands of individuals who have been denied the due process guaranteed by New York law to challenge the separation of families and the detention of children by the government.

Joint Statement in Response to Racial Slurs

Friday, April 16, 2021 – CFR and several other defender services organizations in New York City have issued a joint statement in response to reports that a New York City Family Court clerk used racial slurs to refer to a 15-year-old during a virtual court proceeding:

“White supremacy and violence fill every crevice of our criminal legal system…The use of racist slurs by court staff is part and parcel of the same system that allows police to repeatedly and disproportionately shoot Black and brown children, and we must seriously reckon with the ideology that fuels both.”

Read the full statement here.

Child Welfare Reimagined: Family Regulation and Separation Are Not Support

March 2021 – As an agency that has spent nearly 20 years advocating for more than 10,000 Black and Brown parents whose children are at risk of being placed in foster care, we believe that this moment is a time to recognize that it is not just our policing system that denigrates and destroys the lives of people of color. Read our statement here.

ASFA Threatens Family Bonds – Stop the Clock

March 2021 – CFR strongly supports legislation which would suspend the harsh ASFA timeline and would allow families the time they need to reunify safely. It is critically necessary to help parents whose children are in foster care and are at risk of losing contact with them forever due to Covid-19. Read more here.

Letter to Governor Cuomo and State Legislature

Thursday, February 11, 2021 – Families deserve respect. The so-called ‘Child Welfare’ system is really a Family Regulation System; and it has over-scrutinized, investigated, and surveilled Black and Brown families, while resting on the false premise that this regulation and separation are necessary to keep children safe.

Read our letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to pass a suite of bills aimed at helping the family regulation system move from a framework of racially-based surveillance and punishment towards a system that supports and empowers Black and brown families.

Supreme Court’s Ruling – Ending DACA was Improper

Thursday, June 18, 2020 – CFR applauds the Supreme Court’s ruling that this administration’s decision to end DACA was improper. Read our statement here.

Reforms Needed – Juvenile & Criminal Justice Systems

2020 – The juvenile and criminal justice systems are in need of significant reforms. CFR supports the immediate passage of these bills as a start. Learn more.