[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Trump administration is seeking to supersede the Flores agreement, a court settlement stemming from a Supreme Court case that limits the length of time the federal government can detain migrant children at 20 days. The Flores agreement became national news recently when the Department of Justice argued in federal court that detained migrant children were not entitled to basic hygiene products, including soap and toothbrushes. The federal government lost that court case and its appeal.
The new policy would remove the 20 day time limit, allowing for the indefinite detention of migrant families. The new immigration rule expects that cases will be adjudicated within two months, even though the average court wait across the country is currently much longer than two months. But even just two months is three times the length that children can currently be detained. There are nearly 1 million pending immigration court cases across the country.
The much maligned family separation policy
was due in part to the restrictions of the Flores agreement. Migrant children had to be released within 20 days, but their parents or guardians were not. Under previous administrations, to comply with the Flores agreement, migrant families were usually released into the United States to await their court dates. According to immigration court statistics, about 86 percent of migrant families released into the U.S. ultimately attended their immigration hearings.
The new rule to replace the Flores agreement is set to take effect in 60 days, but will likely face court challenges. The purported goal of the new rule is to deter migration by threatening a long detention for migrants and their children.
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Immigration laws continue to evolve rapidly. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth immigration lawyers
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