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Immigration Law

Legal Scholars & UN Experts: Flores Regulations Violate International Law

Cornell Law Prof. Ian M. Kysel writes:

"As the amicus briefs in the 9th circuit appeal in Flores rolled in, I wanted to flag one in particular on which I am co-counsel: an amicus brief by more than 125 legal scholars and non-governmental organizations.  In it, we argue that a decision by the 9th Circuit allowing the government’s [Flores] regulations to enter into force would violate U.S. international law obligations.  The amici on this brief include several current or former senior UN human rights experts from around the world (including members of the UN Human Rights Committee and the Committee on the Rights of the Child) as well as the former Deans of both Harvard Law School and Yale Law School (the latter, Harold Hongju Koh, also formerly served in government as both Legal Adviser and Assistant Secretary of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the U.S. Department of State).  It is unusual to have so many senior experts on an amicus brief at the court of appeals level. The experts make clear to the 9th Circuit that the government’s effort to permit indefinite detention of migrant children, including asylum seekers, in secure or more secure facilities with limited ability to challenge aspects of their detention, would violate core human rights protections (including children’s right to be free from unlawful detention and their rights to special measures of protection and to consideration of the best interests of the child) and that the regulations should remain enjoined, as continued enforcement of the settlement remains in the public interest."