Aug 21, 2019

Trump rule would indefinitely detain migrant kids with their parents

A migrant family jumps the wall to reach the U.S. Photo: David Peinado/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Trump administration announced a new rule on Wednesday that would allow migrant families who crossed the border illegally to be kept in detention centers long-term.

Why it matters: A decades-old court decision — the Flores agreement — has prevented the government from holding minors in detention for longer than 20 days. The new regulation would replace that and give the federal government more power in determining how to care for migrant minors and families in its custody. The rule was first proposed following the family separation crisis last year, and is certain to face legal challenges.

  • Any court case would end up before California federal Judge Dolly Gee — the same judge who oversaw the Flores case and refused to grant Trump's earlier request to change the decision to allow families to be detained together long-term.

The big picture: The new rule would also allow DHS to license and inspect its own facilities and authorize the department to set the standard of care required for migrant children, America's Voice DHS Watch director Ur Jaddou told Axios.

Context: A 2001 Supreme Court ruling already ensures that no migrants are detained longer than 180 days except for special circumstances. This would still apply for migrant families.

The Flores agreement was a 1997 court settlement that dictates how the federal government must care for migrant minors in its custody.

  • The 20-day detention limit originally only applied to migrant kids who crossed the border illegally without their parents.
  • But in 2015, Judge Gee ruled that the 20-day limit also applied to minors who are with their parents.

Between the lines: Long court backlogs make it next to impossible for a family immigration case to be completed within 20 days, forcing the government to release migrant families until their court dates — or separate kids from their parents, which the Trump administration did last year.

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19 states and D.C. sue Trump administration over family detention rule

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Image

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, along with 18 other states and the District of Columbia, are suing the Trump administration over a new rule allowing migrant families to be kept in detention long-term, Becerra's spokesperson confirmed Monday.

Why it matters: This is the California attorney general's 13th immigration-related lawsuit against the Trump administration, the spokesperson told Axios. The case will ultimately be brought in front of California federal Judge Dolly Gee, who has already refused to grant President Trump's request to change the decades-old Flores settlement to allow families to be detained together longer than 20 days.

Go deeper: Trump rule would indefinitely detain migrant kids with their parents

Keep ReadingArrowAug 26, 2019

Government watchdog: Separations caused trauma on migrant children

People march in support of separated migrant families in June 2018. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

During the family separation crisis last year, Health and Human Services facilities struggled to provide adequate mental health care to migrant children as required under the Flores agreement, according to a new agency watchdog report.

Why it matters: Many of these migrant minors had already faced signifiant trauma in their home countries and in their travel to the border — such as physical abuse, kidnapping, rape and other forms of violence, according to the report. In addition, child migrant care facilities told the Inspector General (OIG) "addressing the unique mental health needs of separated children was particularly challenging."

Go deeperArrowSep 4, 2019

76 arrested after ICE protest outside Microsoft store in New York

Protesters block traffic on Fifth Avenue outside the Microsoft store in Manhattan on Saturday. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Police said they arrested 76 people after demonstrators blocked traffic outside Microsoft's flagship Fifth Avenue store in New York City while protesting the tech giant's work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, CNN reports.

Go deeperArrowSep 15, 2019