Friday 19 October 2018
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1 months ago

Trump Administration Seeks to Detain Children Indefinitely

Expand A Mission Police Dept. officer (L), and a U.S. Border Patrol agent watch over a group of Central American asylum seekers before taking them into custody on June 12, 2018 near McAllen, Texas. © 2018 John Moore/Getty Images Trauma, suicidal feelings, dangerously inadequate medical care. These are only some of the harms that immigrant mothers told Human Rights Watch their children were experiencing in US family detention centers, before a federal judge ruled in 2015 that children detained with parents must be released within 20 days. Now the Trump administration wants to turn back the clock, proposing a new regulation to avoid the 20-day detention limit and opening the door to indefinite detention of migrant children and their families. The new regulation, if adopted, would gut the 2015 Flores settlement, which was designed to address serious abuses experienced by child migrants. That settlement also created standards for how children should be held in the limited circumstances in which they cannot be released. To be consistent with international human rights law, children should not be held in immigration detention, except for very short periods of time for the purpose of effectuating a deportation order. Hundreds of children remain detained in the United States and separated from their parents more than five weeks after a court-ordered deadline to reunify them. About 360 of these still-separated parents were deported alone without the children with whom they traveled to the US. The new proposed regulation seeks to evade these standards by shifting licensing of family detention facilities from state child welfare agencies to the Department of Homeland Security, the same agency criticized for poor oversight over adult detention centers. If this regulation goes into effect, thousands more children would e

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