Judge Rejects Trump Administration's Bid To Detain Migrant Children Indefinitely

  • 07/10/2018
  • NPR

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. And the questions weren't long in coming from some observers, who pointed out that the order appeared to violate a 1997 legal settlement that has been interpreted as barring such indefinite detentions.

At the signing last month, Trump acknowledged the likely legal battles on the horizon: "There may be some litigation," he conceded, instructing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to request modifications to that settlement.

Now, events in court are bearing out those predictions of legal trouble.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee rejected the request for "limited relief" from the settlement, often known as the Flores agreement, that served as the basis for a 2015 court order preventing the federal detention of migrant children for more than 20 days.

The provision played a key role in the decision to separate families in the first place, according to administration officials. That's because the move to a "zero tolerance" immigration policy — which detained and prosecuted migrants for illegal border crossings rather than releasing them before their proceedings — would keep parents in detention longer than their children legally could be.

 Read more at NPR

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