This morning the Washington Post wrote an article about how the Trump administration and DHS officials were planning to eliminate a court ruling that has been used to protect migrant children since 1997. The article says, “The Trump administration is moving to formally terminate a federal court settlement restricting how long U.S. officials can detain migrant children with their parents and replace it with a new rule that could expand family detention and dramatically increase the time children spend in custody”.
The Flores Settlement Agreement has been the law of the land since 1997, but has been in the courts since 2016 when the Trump administration started to challenge it. Since then there have been various rulings, most famously in 2018 by U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee in which she says that authorities can only hold migrant children for a maximum of 20 days before they are released to a licensed care facility. The Trump administration, however, is trying now to get rid of that ruling.
“The new rule would eliminate a 20-day cap for detaining migrant children”
As Americans, we should be outraged at what the President is doing. After months and months of backlash about his border policies of holding migrants in cages and terrible conditions, DHS is now trying to strike down a ruling that helps protect migrant children. The least and most vulnerable of the immigrants coming across our border, will now be subject to a department that can hold them in detention centers for as long as they deem necessary. How can the administration possibly back up this new rule?
“officials said they hoped the threat of longer detention would deter the crush of Central American migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border and complement existing enforcement measures.”
That’s right. DHS and the administration hope that this new rule of children and families being held indefinitely will cause some migrants crossing border to think twice about crossing.
For some people, crossing the border is their only option. To seek a better life and refuge in the land of the free and home of the brave.
We can only hope that history looks favorably upon the people trying to shed light on this Administration’s policies towards immigrants.