The Department of Homeland Security recently announced plans to take money from other programs to further expand ICE resources and its capacity to enforce and detain immigrants. This shift also includes the dismantling of the Flores agreement created in 1997 after the Flores v. Reno court case that provides basic protections to children of detained immigrants, including a 20-day limit for holding all minors. The says that DHS could even detain families indefinitely, arguing it is the only way to deter undocumented immigrants from entering the country.
This administration’s treatment of immigrant children has caused an outcry of criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike over the last two years, yet the administration continues to move forward with it. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, this latest policy shift will face immediate legal challenges.
“This is yet another cruel attack on children, who the Trump administration has targeted again and again with its anti-immigrant policies,” says ACLU policy counsel Madhuri Grewal. “The government should not be jailing kids, and certainly shouldn’t be seeking to put more kids in jail for longer. Congress must not fund this.”
Immigrants still have rights
Despite the president’s best efforts to ignore the rights of immigrants, there are still laws to protect legal and illegal immigrants. Those with questions about Flores and other changes to detaining immigrants are advised to contact a law firm that handles immigration law cases. They will have the most up to date information and be a strong advocate for loved ones.