The Trump administration is moving to end a long-standing federal court agreement that limits how long immigrant children can be kept in detention, a decision that will almost certainly lead to a new court fight over the government’s ability to hold migrant families until their cases are decided.
Ending the so-called Flores agreement is a top priority for the Trump administration. It requires the government to keep children in the least restrictive setting and to release them as quickly as possible, generally after 20 days in detention. Homeland Security officials say they are adopting regulations that reflect the agreement and there is no longer a need for court involvement, which was only meant to be temporary.
The move is the latest effort by the administration to restrict immigration, President Donald Trump’s signature issue, and is aimed at restricting the movement of asylum seekers in the country and deterring more migrants from crossing the border. It is bound to generate fresh outrage, following reports of dire conditions in detention facilities, and it is questionable whether courts will let the administration move forward with the policy.
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With files from the Associated Press.