Press Statement

UnidosUS Suspends Affiliation of Southwest Key Programs

Note: After UnidosUS suspended Southwest Key Programs as an Affiliate, we began an internal review of their affiliation. On October 23, 2018, Southwest Key Programs declined to appeal their suspension and formally ended their affiliation with our organization.

August 13, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC— As a Latino civil rights and advocacy organization, UnidosUS (formerly NCLR) is fully committed to ensuring the well-being of all children, including those under the care and supervision of our community-based Affiliate organizations. On Friday, August 10, 2018, the Executive Committee of the UnidosUS Board of Directors, acting on behalf of the UnidosUS Board of Directors, voted unanimously to suspend Southwest Key Programs as a member of the UnidosUS Affiliate Network, which includes nearly 300 member-organizations. As a result, Southwest Key Programs is no longer eligible for UnidosUS funding or other Affiliate benefits.

The unprecedented decision to suspend Southwest Key Programs is a result of recent documented reports of abuse of immigrant children by employees while in Southwest Key-run shelters and under their care. Not only has the organization failed to convey that it understands the gravity and magnitude of the situation, it has failed to offer any words of apology or condolence to the victims or give a sense that the organization is taking any new measures to address completely unacceptable behaviors and practices in an organization that deals primarily with vulnerable children.

These recent confirmed reports and subsequent lack of action are inconsistent with our expectations for the protection and care of these children and demonstrate a failure by Southwest Key Programs to live up to UnidosUS’s high accountability standards for Affiliates.

UnidosUS, previously known as NCLR (National Council of La Raza), is the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. Through its unique combination of expert research, advocacy, programs, and an Affiliate Network of nearly 300 community-based organizations across the United States and Puerto Rico, UnidosUS simultaneously challenges the social, economic, and political barriers that affect Latinos at the national and local levels. For 50 years, UnidosUS has united communities and different groups seeking common ground through collaboration, and that share a desire to make our country stronger. For more information on UnidosUS, visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.