Federal Judge Denies Trump Administration Request to Detain Immigrant Children

The “Flores Agreement”, which was signed in 1997 after years of litigation, establishes that federal authorities can not keep undocumented minors in detention centers for more than 20 days.

A group of people participates in a march against the policy of “zero tolerance” towards immigrants in the US

A federal judge on Monday rejected the request of the Donald Trump Administration to modify the time it can keep detention centers for undocumented minors who entered the US illegally, fixed by an agreement of more than 20 years.

Judge Dolly Gee, whose court is based in Los Angeles, determined that the application submitted by the Justice Department to modify the “Flores Agreement” lacks support, in addition to being “procedurally improper and totally without merit.”

The judge pointed out that the government’s request appears to be a “cynical attempt” to transfer responsibilities to the Judiciary after more than 20 years of “inaction by Congress” and a bad executive action “that have led to the current stalemate.”

The “Flores Agreement”, which was signed in 1997 after years of litigation, establishes that federal authorities can not keep undocumented minors in detention centers for more than 20 days.

“The parties voluntarily agreed to the terms of the Flores Agreement more than two decades ago, and the Court did not force the parties to accept the agreement or draft the contractual text,” Gee said in his brief.

“The children who are beneficiaries of the Flores Agreement protections and who are now in the custody of the plaintiffs are not at fault, they are subject to decisions made by adults over whom they have no control, in the implementation of the Agreement, their best interests should be paramount, “he added.

On June 21, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions submitted an emergency request to the judge to modify the agreement and allow the Trump Administration to keep the children beyond the established limit.

The motion was part of the executive order signed by the President in which he ruled that immigrant children should not be separated from their parents when they were apprehended at the border, one of the consequences of the policy of “zero tolerance” with immigration. illegal that the current Administration follows.

Holly Cooper, director of the Immigration Clinic at the University of California Davis and one of the attorneys who has defended the Flores Agreement, called the judge’s decision a great triumph, which would prevent the administration from holding the children together. their parents.

“The agreement is very clear that the Government must guarantee the well-being of children, and a detention center is not the right place for these children,” Cooper told Efe.

In February 2017, the Department of Justice (DOJ) challenged before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals an order from the judge that required the executive to release unaccompanied minors held for months while waiting to see an immigration judge. Last July, the Government lost the allegation.

Gee, 58, the daughter of Chinese immigrants, was named during Barack Obama’s government (2009-2017).

 

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