The Trump administration announced on Wednesday that it intends to hold migrant families in detention for the duration of their immigration proceedings, with no limit on the time they can be detained.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, in a press conference detailing the decision, claimed that the long-standing court order known as the Flores agreement has incentivized illegal immigration and represents a “loophole” in the immigration system.
That agreement prohibited children from being kept in detention for more than 20 days. As a result, officials were releasing entire families to keep them from being separated — though last year the administration did separate families as part of a “zero tolerance” program that was eventually stopped amid
“Today, the government has issued a critical rule that will permit the Department of Homeland Security to appropriately hold families together and improve the integrity of the immigration system,” McAleenan said. “This rule allows the federal government to enforce immigration laws as passed by Congress and ensures that all children in U.S. government custody are treated with dignity, respect, and special concern for their particular vulnerability.”
The work-around the administration is proposing is to declare that ICE detention centers for families are compliant with the agreement because they are licensed by ICE, not a state.
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