Posted at 8:41 am on August 21, 2019.
Fourteen months after a court order ended the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy on illegal immigration, Homeland Security will take steps to undo the basis of that action. Later today, DHS will roll out a new rule that will greatly modify the Flores settlement that bars detention of families for more than three weeks, a limit that makes it all but impossible to prosecute adults. That will set off a new effort to arrest and detain any and all people crossing illegally into the US, almost certainly followed shortly afterward by another court fight:
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.
The new rule is expected to be rolled out during a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) press conference on Wednesday morning.
“The Administration is closing one of the legal loopholes that has allowed human traffickers and smugglers to exploit our vulnerabilities at the southern border,” a senior administration official told the Daily Caller. “President Trump has made it clear that he’s going to secure America’s border at all cost and this rule plays a vital role in the strategy to restore the integrity to our immigration system and our national security.”
The administration also plans to establish national standards for family detention housing.