A federal judge in California on Monday rejected a Justice Department request to detain immigrant children long-term as to keep immigrant families together in custody. Judge Dolly Gee called the Justice Department’s request a “cynical” attempt to end the 1997 Flores court settlement, which says children cannot be detained for more than 20 days.
Gee said the federal government had failed to present new evidence to support revising a court order that limits the detention of children who crossed the border illegally.
The Justice Department had asked Gee to suspend the Flores settlement requirement that immigrant children only be held in facilities that meet state welfare licensing regulations. The government wanted the settlement changed so it can detain families together.
The federal government request came after the president reversed his zero-tolerance policy that caused uproar when children were taken from their parents in emotional scenes caught on camera.
Gee says the effort attempts to foist responsibility on the court for the president’s “ill-considered” action and Congress’ failure to take action.
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