The federal government is seeking to end court oversight of how it treats immigrant children, more than 20 years after a landmark lawsuit over mistreatment of children in the nation’s immigration system.
The proposal to end a judge’s oversight of the Flores agreement, as it’s known, comes as federal officials report that more than 500 immigrant children remain separated from their parents in the wake of President Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy.
In a news conference on Friday, child detention experts and a lawyer from the Flores legal team raised concerns that the administration’s new regulations could overturn fundamental standards of care required in the federal agreement.
“The administration is planning its next step, which we believe will result in even more suffering and trauma for children,” said Ai-jen Poo, a leader of the Families Belong Together Coalition. “By dismantling long-standing child protection under the Flores settlement agreement and implementing regulations in its place, the Trump administration is seeking to expand its power to jail families for longer in worse conditions and lock children indefinitely.”
The settlement, agreed to in 1997, requires the government to provide certain housing and nutritional requirements to immigrant children. It also mandates the release of those children to relatives or other known family friends within a timely manner.
Last week, the Office of Management and Budget concluded its review of two regulations filed by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and... Read More >