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“To help protect children from abuse, and stop this illegal flow, we must close these loopholes. This is an urgent humanitarian necessity.” – President Donald J. Trump
The Trump administration is seeking to terminate the Flores settlement, an immigration-related court order that prevents most migrant family units from being held in detention centers for more than 20 days. But with our current flood of asylum-seekers, the backlog in immigration courts is much longer than 20 days. That leaves us with two options: Either remove the children from CBP facilities while we hold the parents there (family separation) or just let the entire family go and hope they show up for the hearing months down the line (catch and release).
The Flores agreement, which essentially mandated family separation, will soon be history, thanks to Trump administration actions announced Wednesday. This change, if liberals don't successfully block them in court, will allow the federal government to keep families together in residential facilities when they arrive at the border seeking asylum.
Eliminating the Flores settlement would allow the U.S. government to hold migrant children and their families indefinitely while they await court proceedings. The 1997 Flores v. Reno decision by the Supreme Court laid out specific conditions under which unaccompanied migrant children could be held in detention, and was later expanded to place time restrictions on the detention of migrant children accompanied by family members.
Because the adults with whom these children arrived were often detained due to eligibility issues and were unlikely to get an immigration hearing within three weeks, the DHS was faced with the choice of separating the children from their “parents” and releasing the entire “family unit” into the general U.S. population. The Obama administration chose to go with “catch and release.” It goes without saying that very few of the erstwhile detainees ever materialized for their hearings. The Trump administration’s alternative policy was subsequently criticized by the Democrats, so DHS has proposed the new rule, which is summarized below:
First and foremost, the new rule permanently establishes standards of care in custody for children and families. These standards are high. In doing so, the rule fulfills one of the central, original purposes of the 1997 Flores court settlement to ensure appropriate care for all children.…
Second, the new rule closes the legal loophole that arose from the reinterpretation of Flores — which Congress has refused to do — allowing the federal government to house alien families together in appropriate facilities during fair and expeditious proceedings, as was done by the previous administration in 2014 and 2015.…
Third — by closing the key loophole in Flores — the new rule will restore integrity to our immigration system and eliminate the major pull factor fueling the current crisis.…
And fourth, the new rule will protect children by reducing incentives for adults, including human smugglers, to take advantage of minors in the dangerous journey to our border, using them to exploit the system and be released into the United States.
Full Press Conference Below (Starts at the 9:10 mark)
It’s very odd that the Democrats object to allowing families to stay together while being processed through the immigration system, restoring some sanity to that process, and protecting children from exploitation by human smugglers. And yet they do. Last year they denounced Trump for separating families. Now they’re upset because he wants to keep them together.
It’s obvious that the Democrats are less interested in the welfare of the families and children than they are in continuing the failed “catch and release” policy that has permitted countless illegal immigrants to disappear into the general population and make their way to throught the country and into sanctuary cities. The Democrats seem less interested in fixing the immigration system than in keeping up the flow of new voters who depend on them for government benefits like free health care. The Democrats are evidently willing to accept child abuse and human trafficking in exchange for illegal votes. This is worse than hypocritical. It is a cruel travesty that perpetrates human suffering.