Coalition condemns proposed rule to circumvent Flores Agreement, which provides important protections for migrant children in detention
SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, leading a coalition of 18 attorneys general, today submitted a comment letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) expressing significant concerns with their proposed regulations that would roll back protections for children held in immigrant detention facilities. Those protections are the result of a settlement in prior litigation, the Flores Settlement Agreement, which has afforded all immigrant children a right to be released from detention, set standards for their conditions of confinement, and provided meaningful oversight and monitoring of their care while in custody. The Administration is seeking to replace the protections in the settlement agreement with the new, less protective regulations.
“For decades, the Flores Agreement has set the standard for how long children can be held in custody and the conditions of their detention,” said Attorney General Becerra. “It is alarming that anyone would try to remove protections in place to ensure the safe and timely release of children into appropriate settings in our communities and with their families. The Trump Administration’s proposed rule would cruelly prolong children’s confinement, knowing there is ample evidence demonstrating the lasting harm that results from this detention.”
In the comment letter, the States:
Attorney General Becerra is joined by the Attorneys General of Massachusetts, Washington, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
A copy of the letter is attached to the electronic version of this press release here.