Published: Fri, August 23, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Trump administration unveils rule allowing migrant families to be held indefinitely

Trump administration unveils rule allowing migrant families to be held indefinitely

The Flores agreement governs more than just how long children can be held in detention, it sets standards of care for children who cross the border alone as well as with families.

McAleenan said the government believes some families apprehended on the border were "fraudulent" based on DNA testing of some migrants in pilot programmes implemented in recent months.

The move was announced by Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan and is due to come into effect in 60 days. The implementation deadline could slip, however, depending on the success of the likely court challenges.

Flores is a constant talking point by the president and his administration, which claims it is an immigration loophole that encourages migrants to make a risky and potentially deadly journey to the U.S. The district judge overseeing the agreement has already refused government requests to increase the amount of time children can be detained, and advocates have already moved to block the regulations when the proposed rule was first announced last September.

Congressman Joaquin Castro, the chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said in a statement that the administration is "punishing vulnerable families".

The American Academy of Pediatrics has repeatedly said that detention is not suitable for children, who may suffer numerous negative physical and emotional symptoms. Such families are rarely deported, officials said.

The Flores agreement established that when families with children were captured and detained, they had to be released in less than two dozen days to a family member or guardian in the USA - and if that was not possible they had to be transferred to a care facility that does not operate like a jail.

"I think all these things are now part of the 2020 campaign", Schey said.

Last year, the Trump administration requested to amend the settlement to allow it to indefinitely detain migrant children.

Even with the FSA in place, children have been kept in overcrowded and freezing detention centers with insufficient access to water, food or medical care.

The Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services, which are jointly responsible for the rule, said they received and reviewed more than 100,000 comments about a draft proposal.

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Hirono's remarks were in response to a line of questioning regarding the conditions of the nation's largest family immigrant detention center, which is located in Dilley, Texas.

At a detention center in McAllen, Texas, there were almost 1,800 juveniles when the entire capacity for both juveniles and adults was 1,500.

It is expected to face legal challenge.

It's the same tactic the Obama administration used in 2014 and 2015 when it faced a similar, though smaller, surge of illegal immigrant families. As illegal crossings rose previous year, the Trump administration directed the Pentagon to identify sites with space for up to 12,000 beds for families.

Mr Trump said: "To protect these children from abuse, and stop this illegal flow, we must close these loopholes". Today, Trump decided the solution is to cage them for longer. "The American people need to understand, this is a game-changer".

Central Americans arrested at the U.S. -Mexico border were held in custody - including many who sought asylum in the U.S. because they feared persecution if returned home.

DHS officials say they have apprehended 390,000 family units since last October.

He said detained families will be held at facilities such as one in Pennsylvania he described as a "campus-like setting" with "cushioned couches", and recreation facilities, where families are given three hot meals a day.

Trump tweeted a quote on Wednesday from National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd, where he claims the rules would end "catch and release" immigration practices.

The administration sought to deter migrants past year through a "zero tolerance" policy that separated thousands of children from their parents.

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