A federal judge appointed by Barack Obama has blocked the Trump administration from indefinitely detaining migrant children at the border.
— Josie Huang (@josie_huang) September 27, 2019
Fox News reports federal judge in Los Angeles is blocking the Trump administration from moving ahead with indefinitely detaining immigrant children caught at the border, and an injunction blocking enforcement was issued.
At issue is the so-called Flores Settlement Agreement, a 22-year-old consent decree on how long and under what conditions underage immigrants can be detained by the government. The administration sought to withdraw from the 1997 agreement as part of a crackdown on asylum seekers arriving at the southern border with Mexico.
The agreement forbids holding children in unlicensed detention facilities for more than 20 days. Trump officials have said the agreement incentivizes illegal immigration.
The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services issued new rules over the summer to end the agreement and allow the federal government to license detention facilities, which would allow longer detention periods for migrant children.
A hearing was held Friday by U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee; she expressed skepticism about the government’s arguments, issuing an order concluding that the administration’s proposed rules “fail to implement and are inconsistent with the relevant and substantive terms of the Flores Settlement Agreement.”
“Just because you tell me it is night outside doesn’t mean it is not day,” Gee told government lawyers.
The government argued it has the discretion to issue new rules to replace the old agreement. But immigrant advocates say the provisions would allow the indefinite detention of children in unlicensed facilities.
Gee wrote officials “cannot simply ignore the dictates of the consent decree merely because they no longer agree with its approach as a matter of policy.”
Attorneys representing immigrant children said the administration was using young immigrants to deter migrants from seeking asylum.
“We will continue vigorously to defend the rights of detained immigrant children,” Neha Desai, director of immigration at the National Center for Youth Law, told reporters.
This article was written by the staff of TheConservativeOpinion.com