20 States Now Suing Government Over Flores Rule
California and 19 other states on August 23, 2019, announced a lawsuit against the Trump administration’s proposed new rule to change the court order that limits the detention of migrant minors to 20 days, known as the Flores Rule.
Heading the Lawsuit
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey are co-leading the lawsuit. Both are Democrats. Becerra said in a statement:
“This new Trump rule callously puts at risk the safety and well-being of children. It undermines a decades-old agreement reached in court by the federal government to prevent the unlawful detention of immigrant children. No child deserves to be left in conditions inappropriate and harmful for their age. We’re taking the Trump Administration to court to protect children from the irreparable harm caused by unlawful and unnecessary detention. With our partners across the country, we will fight for the most vulnerable among us.”
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) wants to remove court oversight and allow families to stay in detention for longer than 20 days.
States joining California and Massachusetts in the lawsuit are Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.
The Flores v Reno Settlement Agreement (FSA) or Flores Rule, on January 28, 1997, set nationwide policies and “standards for the detention, release and treatment of minors in the custody of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) by prioritizing them for release to the custody of their families and requiring those in federal custody to be placed in the least restrictive environment possible.”
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