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Final Rule terminating Flores Agreement regarding detention of migrant children

  1. Original Date Announced

    August 23, 2019

    DHS rule terminates and replaces the Flores Settlement Agreement, which governed the apprehension, processing, care, custody, and release of noncitizen juveniles. The rule distinguishes between accompanied and unaccompanied migrant children and provides less protection for accompanied children, to whom the maximum time allowed in detention for children does not apply. This rule was signed by Acting Secretary McAleenan and Secretary Azar.

    [ID #431]

    Apprehension, Processing, Care, and Custody of Alien Minors and Unaccompanied Alien Children
  2. Effective Date

    October 22, 2019

Current Status

Not in effect

Original Trump Policy Status

Trump Administration Action: Rule
Subject Matter: Detention Minors
Agencies Affected: ICE USCIS CBP ORR

Pre Trump-Era Policies

  • January 17, 1997

    The Flores settlement required that children be placed with a close relative or family friend “without unnecessary delay;” and that migrant children in custody must be held in the “least restrictive conditions” possible. The Ninth Circuit held this applied to both accompanied and unaccompanied children, https://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2016/07/06/15-56434.pdf.

    Flores Settlement Agreement

Commentary

  • Trump administration moves to terminate court agreement, hold migrant children and parents longer

    The Trump administration is moving to terminate a federal court settlement restricting how long U.S. officials can detain migrant children with their parents and replace it with a rule that could expand family detention and dramatically increase the time children spend in custody. The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services will issue a rule Friday to withdraw from the Flores Settlement Agreement, the federal consent decree that has set basic standards for the detention of migrant children and teenagers by the United States since 1997. The new rule will need the approval of a federal judge, who declined the government’s request last year to expand detentions. Homeland Security officials said the rule would eliminate a 20-day cap for detaining migrant children and create a new license regime that would make it easier for federal officials to expand family detention nationwide.

    Go to article on washingtonpost.com

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