Children Cannot be Detained by Homeland Security, Federal Court Rules

Last week the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California released a decision finding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in breach of the 1997 Flores settlement agreement on the detention of minors. The Judge ruled that the settlement agreement applies to all minors, including those who are accompanied. Children cannot be held in a secure facility, and should be released to a parent when possible. This includes releasing the child to the accompanying parent, unless that parent is a flight or safety risk. The District Court ruling that finds DHS in breach of the Flores settlement agreement and grants plaintiffs' motion to enforce can be found at http://www.immigrationadvocates.org/link.cfm?24686.
"Awareness of the regulatory impact of immigration law on families and their children is a critical starting point." See page 20-21 of the article on protecting the best interests of innocent children in immigration reform in the article at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2380076.
Minimizing that negative impact on children by not separating them from their families is the best course of action for children, or from weakening the nation which can be strengthened by strong families and improved immigration policy. "Protecting the best interests of children belonging to families caught up in immigration enforcement procedures is vital." http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2380076
The government must implement the Court's ruling by October 23, 2015. Family restoration relies on good law that protects children's best interests.

1 comment:

  1. That's an eye-opener. If I'd been asked, I would have assumed that the best interests of the child would be applied in immigration law situations involving children. I'm glad this case turned out the right way, but it makes me wonder where else the law has blind spots with regard to children. Obviously immigration is a contentious issue, but this seems to so clearly implicate the Christian obligation to care for the vulnerable that even a hardliner could soften.