The Trump administration announced a newly proposed federal regulation on September 6, 2018 that would sidestep the Flores settlement. The 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement requires the government to release children from immigration detention without unnecessary delay to parents, adult relatives or licensed programs. It also requires that detained minors have a certain quality of life, which includes as much separation from unrelated adults as possible.
The newly proposed federal regulation would nullify the Flores settlement and its provisions. The Secretary of Homeland Security has expressed concern with the effects of the settlement, stating that it is a “pull factor” that promotes illegal immigration.
One of the major changes of this regulation would be the creation of a federal license system to allow for detention centers that would be able to hold families. The administration stated that the impetus for this change was to allow families to be kept in detention centers for the duration of their immigration court case. In addition, the government argues that keeping families in detention centers would help expedite the overall legal process.
A 60-day period for public input and comments will follow the publication of the proposed regulation on September 7, 2018 in the Federal Register. Following this period, the administration will be able to move to certify the regulation as final and operative.
If you are interested in immigrating to the United States, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!