DHS seeks to curtail rights of immigrant children in detention
NEW YORK, NY - Yesterday, the Trump administration proposed a new regulation in an attempt to restrict the rights of immigrant children, seeking to remove court-imposed time limits on how long the government is allowed to keep minors in detention. The new rule, which is meant to circumvent requirements the government agreed to in previous court filings, would also allow the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to “self-certify” the adequacy of the facilities and conditions in which children are kept, and remove requirements that ensure their access to food, education, and due process.
Steven Choi, Executive Director the New York Immigration Coalition, issued the following statement:
“The Trump administration is retaliating to the massive public outcry against its policy of ripping children from parents, by locking away the children and throwing away the key. This new regulation would enshrine Trump’s systematic violence and abuse against immigrant families. The administration is blatantly disregarding the courts, holding hostage children in cages without access to critical services.”
The proposed rule is in direct conflict with the 1997 (updated in 2016) Flores Settlement, which demands the government meet specific requirements, with independent oversight, in the treatment of immigrant minors while in their custody, and limits the amount of time children are allowed to be held in detention.The administration is taking a stunning step, dishonoring previous commitments made by the U.S government.
On June 26th, a federal judge in California ordered a stop to family separation at the southern border and that all families that had been separated be reunited. The court ordered federal officials to stop detaining parents separate facilities from their minor children, unless it is determined that the parent is unfit or declines reunification; reunify all parents with their minor children under the age of 5 within 14 days and reunify all parents with their minor children age 5 and older within 30 days.
Hundreds of children remain separated from their families.