Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Rejects Trump Administration’s Bid to Alter Rules on Detaining Minors

Rejects Trump Administration’s Bid to Alter Rules on Detaining Minors Rejects Trump Administration’s Bid to Alter Rules on Detaining Minors
Steven Clarke | 11 July, 2018, 02:43

A federal judge has refused the Trump administration's request to change a longstanding federal court settlement so that officials could detain asylum-seeking families together during lengthy immigration proceedings.

US District Court Judge Dolly Gee, in Los Angeles, turned down the feds' bid to nix the 20-day maximum stay in detention that's been in place since 1997.

The government argued that the Flores agreement can not be followed as it stands because it requires the separation of families, and that families must be held until their immigration hearings take place to ensure that they show up in court.

When President Trump signed the executive order last month that ended the separation of migrant families, he effectively swapped one controversial practice for another - in this case, the indefinite detention of whole families.

The government asserted in its Flores filing that the San Diego ruling would necessitate longer-term detention of children, since that would be the only way to both reunite them with their parents and keep the parents incarcerated during their immigration proceedings.

Previous administrations often released families apprehended at the border to pursue their immigration claims while living freely in the United States.

Eight boys rescued from cave in northern Thailand
A retired Thai navy SEAL died Friday after he ran out of oxygen while placing compressed-air tanks along the exit route. The boys remain in quarantine but some of their parents have been able to see their children through the glass.

CNN has reached out to the Justice Department for comment. "For weeks, we watched in horror as children have been ripped from their parents, but the remedy for family separation is not, and never will be, holding them indefinitely in detention facilities that are functionally prisons".

The plaintiff's attorney Peter Schey disputed that interpretation, saying the judge's ruling deals with children and "does not address laws, regulations or rules dealing with the release of parents".

"It is apparent that (the Trump administration's request) is a cynical attempt.to shift responsibility to the Judiciary for over 20 years of Congressional inaction and ill-considered Executive action that have led to the current stalemate", Gee wrote.

As evidenced by the 2015 order based on Flores, President Obama also struggled with the conundrum of how to prevent and prosecute illegal border crossings without detaining violators for excessive periods.

"Regardless, what is certain is that the children who are the beneficiaries of the Flores Agreement's protections and who are now in Defendants' custody are blameless", she added.

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