Trump Administration Seeks to Extend Migrant Child Detention and End “Catch and Release”

Published by Matt Fishman on

The Trump Administration has unveiled a new plan to extend migrant child detention, stating it “will now seek to terminate the Flores Settlement Agreement”, putting an end to “catch and release.” The Flores Settlement Agreement was a settlement from a 1993 United States District Court Case which established “nationwide policy for the detention, release, and treatment of minors in the custody of the INS [Immigration and Naturalization Service].” Further litigation has extended the scope of the Flores Settlement Agreement to limit the time the INS “may detain children… to 20 days.” The Trump Administration has argued the Flores Settlement Agreement acts a “loophole [that] essentially gives a free pass into the interior of the United States to many aliens who arrive at the border with a minor.” Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan says this termination will allow the DHS to “appropriately hold families together and improve the integrity of the immigration system,… and ensures that all children in U.S. government custody are treated with dignity, respect, and special concern.” The change “takes effect in 60 days,” but is likely to be met in court with fierce opposition.

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