Trump Administration is Pushing Rule Change that Would Allow for Longer Detention of Migrant Children

According to reporting from National Public Radio (NPR), the Trump Administration is attempting to lift a court-imposed settlement that limits how long migrant children can be held in U.S. immigration detention centers. The proposed rule change would alter the ‘Flores Settlement’, an important policy that our legal team has discussed before. In this post, our immigration lawyer in Los Angeless provide an overview of this most recent proposal from the Trump Administration.

The Flores Settlement Limits Detention of Migrant Children to 20 Days

The Flores Settlement, a Clinton-era consent decree that was agreed to by the Department of Justice, limits the detention of migrant children to 20 days. After 20 days, Flores requires that migrant children are released from custody.

The Trump Administration Wants to Hold Migrant Children Indefinitely

The requirements of the Flores Settlement have created some problems for the Trump Administration. Under prior administration, migrant families who were applying for asylum in the United States were typically released as a unit. Children were released with their parents ―  a far better and more humane option than what the Administration is currently doing.

Under its so-called ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy, the Trump Administration refuses to release migrant parents while their immigration case is pending. Many of these parents came to the U.S. border seeking asylum with their children. Though the Trump Administration has backed away on its immoral family separation policy, the Administration is still seeking to hold migrant adults through their immigration hearing. As there is a huge backlog in American immigration courts, these cases can take months or even more than a year to go through the process.

The net effect: The Trump Administration is attempting to change the rules so that it can hold young migrant children in U.S. immigration detention facilities for well over 20 days.

Can the Administration Really Change the Rules?

The proposed change has already been posted to the official website of the Federal Register. While there are serious questions about the legality of the Administration’s proposed rule change, it is possible that it may stand up in court. It is a virtual certainty that there will be extensive litigation over this issue should the Trump Administration continue to push this new policy. Under federal regulations, a proposed rule change of this nature cannot go into effect for several months. U.S. courts and the public must have an opportunity to review the new rules. During this time, it is imperative that the public makes its voice heard and pushes back against this terrible policy proposal. Children do not belong in cages.

Get Help From an Immigration Lawyer Today

At the Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, we are committed advocates for migrants in Southern California. If you need immigration law help, please do not hesitate to contact our law firm today. We are prepared to fight tirelessly to protect your rights and interests.