Trump Administration To Allow Indefinite Detention of Families With Children

President Trump at border

President Trump at border

They could come as early as this week. A court fight will nearly certainly follow over the government's desire to hold migrant families until their cases are decided.

The government's detention of children has been limited to less than 20 days under a court settlement known as the Flores Settlement Agreement. Advocates have vowed to challenge the rule in court, which will put the change in front of U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee, who denied the administration's request previous year to extend family detentions.

The administration proposed a similar plan in September 2018 that would have allowed the government to detain kids longer so long as they were treated with "dignity, respect and special concern for their particular vulnerability as minors", a requirement under Flores.

A 2015 legal ruling on this issue specified that children should be held for no more than 20 days.

The administration has faced harsh criticism of its temporary border patrol stations, where lawyers and internal government watch-dogs reported hundreds of children and families being held in squalid conditions.

McAleenan said that in the 10 months to July, some 475,000 people in family units crossed the border illegally from Mexico, aiming to stay in the United States.

The new policy means that migrant families who are detained after crossing the border can be kept indefinitely, until their cases are decided.

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Trump has made cracking down on legal and illegal immigration a hallmark of his presidency after campaigning in 2016 on a promise, so far unfulfilled, that Mexico would pay for a border wall to keep migrants from entering the United States. It was ruled that the Flores agreement applied not only to unaccompanied minors but also to children who arrived with adults.

The current law bars long-term detention for immigrant children inside the U.S. territory without valid visa.

DHS officials said in a briefing Tuesday that they have no immediate plans to increase the number of family detention beds.

The administration's move is aimed at deterring migrant expectations that they will be released after being arrested by the United States border authorities and able to disappear into the USA population.

McAleenan said at a news conference Wednesday the facilities the federal government will use to temporarily house families under the new rule are "appropriately, fundamentally different than the facilities where migrants are processed following apprehension or encounter at the border". Asylum cases involving detained families move much more quickly than cases for families released, taking months instead of years to resolve, in part because there are none of the delays that result when immigrants set free in the US fail to show up for a hearing. It's not clear how this change would affect that policy. Seven children dead as a result of our care. On June 1, there were 676. 'This will effectively end Catch and Release and curb illegal entries, " Trump posted to his Twitter.

Trump eventually backed down and stopped the separation of families. "The government should not be jailing kids, and certainly shouldn't be seeking to put more kids in jail for longer".

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