The Trump administration is now proposing regulations that could indefinitely detain migrant families. The regulations are meant to replace the 1997 Flores settlement, which is currently used to protect migrant children who enter the country. In accordance with the Flores settlement, the government must house migrant children in a facility licensed by a state authority and release children as soon as possible, usually within 20 days, including if they’re accompanied by their parents.
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According to Vox, Health and Human Services and the department of Homeland Security will publish a draft of the new regulation on Friday (though you can see an “unpublished” version here) that would allow the government to detain those families for much longer. Children who come to the country with their parents would be detained together while their immigration case pends, as opposed to the current system where families are released after those 20 days and continue their proceedings outside detention.
With this new regulation, children would also be able to be detained outside facilities licensed by state authorities. Instead, facilities would only have to meet baseline standards to qualify. However, Vox reports, standards of care would not need to be met under “emergency” circumstances.
After the proposal is published, there will be 60 days for the public to comment. After the government reviews the comments and publishes a finalized version, plaintiffs from the Flores case have 45 days to file a challenge.