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Immigration Law

Where Family Separation Began: A Case in El Paso Shows Flores is the Solution, Not the Problem

Katherine Hawkins, Just Security, June 22, 2018 - " ... The Trump administration has denounced Flores as a “loophole,” and demanded that Congress override it so that it can start detaining families for longer periods of time. The executive order instructed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to file a request to modify the Flores settlement so that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can detain families together during their criminal and immigration proceedings. It is not clear what will happen if the court denies that request, but the order repeats Trump’s false claim that the Flores settlement forces him to separate families:

It is unfortunate that Congress’s failure to act and court orders have put the Administration in the position of separating alien families to effectively enforce the law.

All of this ignores a growing body of evidence that the family separation policy and failure to reunite families is itself a violation of Flores, as one federal magistrate judge in El Paso found in an overlooked decision this January. Flores specifically requires that minors in U.S. immigration custody be provided with “contact with family members who were arrested with the minor.” Instead, the government has bureaucratically severed the link between parents and children, and seems to have no system for reconnecting them. ... "