The Trump administration announced a new rule on Thursday that would allow immigrant children waiting for court dates to be detained in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities indefinitely. After passing of the zero-tolerance policy regarding illegal immigration and border crossing, the reason thousands of migrant children are separated from their parents while their parents await in immigration jails, is due to the Flores Settlement, a longstanding court settlement that requires the government to release children from immigration detention without “unnecessary delay”, this usually is 20 days. This agreement has been in place for over 2 decades, and a District Court Judge overturned a previous attempt to overturn the rule back in June.
This new rule, proposed by the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services, goes into effect in 60 days from Thursday, and will allow ICE to detain children with their mothers in detention facilities while their cases are pending in court. Officials argue that this rule is legal because they will be holding children in ICE facilities that have been evaluated by third parties. The average length of stays for adults with pending court cases is currently 39 days. However, with the increase in immigrants being detained, court backlogs can drag out the time an immigrant must wait in detention for a hearing. This rule has not gone into effect yet and can still be taken to appellate courts or even the Supreme Court. To learn more about the current asylum program, please click here. To learn more about other forms of humanitarian relief, please click here.
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