New York Times: "Migrant Families Would Face Indefinite Detention Under New Trump Rule" - "The Trump administration unveiled a regulation on Wednesday that would allow it to detain indefinitely migrant families who cross the border illegally, replacing a decades-old court agreement that imposed a limit on how long the government could hold migrant children in custody and specified the level of care they must receive".
The rules, which are certain to draw a legal challenge, would replace a 1997 legal agreement that limits the amount of time USA immigration authorities can detain migrant children.
"Pediatricians and child welfare experts have already stood up against family detention due to the psychological trauma and physical harm inflicted while in custody", Castro said.
In a news release, the administration argued that some immigrants had purposely brought children with them in order to take advantage of this rule.
The Flores agreement was put into place during the Clinton administration; the Trump administration is now formally trying to replace it.
More than 432,000 members of family units have been taken into custody from October through July, a 456% increase over the same period the year before, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. "And, they've been coming to exploit a vulnerability in our immigration framework that says if you have a child with you, you can not be held for more than 20 days".
Homeland Security did not say how long it expects families to be kept, but McAleenan said under the previous administration it was about 50 days.
The latest action tears apart the Flores Settlement Agreement that had placed limits on how long children of families seeking asylum could be held in detention, enabling the USA government to release tens of thousands of families pending the resolution of their cases.
McAleenan said the government believes some families apprehended on the border were "fraudulent" based on DNA testing of some migrants in pilot programmes implemented in recent months.
"Today, the government has issued a critical rule that will permit the Department of Homeland Security to appropriately hold families together and improve the integrity of the immigration system", said Kevin McAleenan, acting secretary of the department, in a statement.
Peter Schey, a lawyer for the immigrant children in the Flores case and president of the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, said that if the new regulations don't match the settlement, "they would be in immediate material breach, if not contempt of court". Smugglers have sold families discounted trips to the border and instructed them to seek asylum because the Flores agreement meant they were likely to be released. One is being used for single adults, and the other two are at capacity.
The US would be able to detain indefinitely migrant families who cross the border with Mexico illegally, under a regulation unveiled Wednesday by the Trump administration.
The Flores agreement has been in effect since 1997 but mostly was applied to children who came to the country alone.
The move is the latest effort by the administration to restrict immigration, President Donald Trump's signature issue, and is aimed at restricting the movement of asylum seekers in the country and deterring more migrants from crossing the border. "Congratulations, the baby is now a United States citizen", Trump said.
In the wake of the outcry, the Trump administration tried past year to supercede Flores and detain migrants indefinitely.
"Thousands of kids separated from their parents". Children cared for toddlers, the lawyers said, adding that they had inadequate food, water and sanitation.