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Trump Administration Seeks to End Flores Agreement and Detain Undocumented Families for Indefinite Period of Time

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On Wednesday, the Trump administration announced a proposal that will change the settlement agreement reached in Flores v. Reno, an agreement that limited the amount of time and conditions under which the U.S. government could detain immigrant children.

Reno v. Flores prevented the government from holding immigrant children in detention for over 20 days. The Trump administration is now seeking to do away with that prohibition and hold undocumented families traveling with children for an indefinite period of time.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan, announced the administration’s plans to publish a final rule in the Federal Register to do away with the Flores rule. The rule would become effective 60 days after publication. The proposal however will likely be met with great opposition and result in years long litigation.

While the details of the rule have not yet been released, the ACLU and other pro-immigrant organizations have pledged to take the issue to court and block the government from enforcing the rule.

Congressional democrats have also voiced their opposition to ending the Flores agreement, vowing to take up the issue before Congress.

For his part, the President has defended the proposal stating that he has the best interest of the children in mind given that undocumented families will be discouraged from traveling to the United States with the passage of this rule.

We will provide more details on this rule as the unpublished version is released.