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Immigration Law

Expert: Trump Executive Order Narrower Than Anticipated

Tal Kopan, CNN, June 20, 2018 - "President Donald Trump on Wednesday reversed course after days of digging in on a policy that resulted in immigrant family separations at the border, signing an executive order that will keep far more families together at the border. The order also seeks more authority to detain those families together until the end of their immigration proceedings. ... Seeks indefinite detention ... Though the order does not immediately attempt to flout a court settlement that requires children who come with family to be released from detention within three weeks, it does initiate a process to challenge that settlement. Trump ordered Attorney General Jeff Sessions to file a request in court to change the settlement in Flores v Reno -- setting up a likely lengthy and intense litigation process that would seek the power to detain families in government custody indefinitely. The settlement, however, is overseen by a judge and an appellate court that already imposed these conditions, making the court challenge an uphill climb for the Trump administration. The administration will have to seek the change from the judge who oversaw the settlement -- over the objection of the previous administration -- in the first place. "This is narrower than I anticipated," said Cornell Law professor Stephen Yale-Loehr. "Politically, this allows the administration to assert that it wants to detain families indefinitely -- but a court won't let them do it." In a call with reporters, Gene Hamilton, counselor to the Attorney General, seemed to acknowledge that the administration will need to convince the judge in the Flores case, Judge Dolly Gee, to reverse the previous settlement -- even as he criticized her for making it in the first place."