A federal judge blocked the Trump administration's attempts on Friday Flores Settlement agreement requiring certain safeguards for children in immigration detention.
The changes in the settlement have allowed the administration to detain immigrant children and their parents for an indefinite period in prisons.
Federal Judge Dolly Gee reiterated that the 22-year agreement was still binding after several court hearings. In her written decision, the judge said that Flores is a contract in which the Federal Government had "voluntarily entered and agreed to be bound".
In August, the Ministries of Internal Security, Health and Human Services issued a final ruling Reception of tens of thousands of public comments against the changes. The rule would have greatly influenced that Flores Settlement by effectively scrapping a key component of Flores– that children should not be detained for more than 20 days.
Judge Gee pointed to some inconsistencies between the new provisions and the original Flores Approval.
An inconsistency is the change in the licensing requirements for facilities housing detained children.
Judge Gee pointed out that the new regulations would allow the government to self-license many facilities to their own standards, ignoring the requirement that an independent party (a state-run licensing agency) set the standards.
Similarly, Judge Gee called "Kafkaesque fashion"The new rules aimed to change the definition of non-secure facilities.
According to the administration, non-secure facilities could include prisons that are completely locked and fenced in as long as a reception area is not locked. In the event of entry into force, the new rules would increase the number of children in safe facilities and limit the ability of children to commit themselves to responsible adults or release them.
The new regulation also removed the mandatory wording Flores and replaced it with less restrictive language. For example, a requirement that the government under certain circumstances "should release a minor "was replaced by a language indicating only that a minor"can to be published."
While the language of Flores Even if the government can enact regulations to replace them, these rules must be reviewed and approved by the court before they enter into force. During this review process, Judge Gee noted that the new rules "undo" the purpose of Flores,
It is not in the public interest for the government to break its treaty. Judge Gee has repeatedly come to this conclusion in her earlier decisions on the government non-compliance With Flores, On Friday, she added that heightened border-anxiety was not a good reason for prolonged detention.
Perhaps the best summary of the opinion came to court. When a prosecutor claimed that the new rules had actually fully implemented the law Flores Settlement, Judge Gee answered:
"Just because you tell me it's night outside does not mean it's not a day."
At a time when many Trump administration immigration officials are trying to plunge children into the dark, it's still daylight.
Filed under: Department of Homeland Security, Flores
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