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Family Detention and the Flores Settlement Agreement

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In the summer of 2014, the Administration responded to the the lawful migration of refugee families and unaccompanied refugee children by detaining families in order to deter future migration. The administration refused to comply with the 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement (Flores) for accompanied children. Instead, it opened massive immigration detention facilities for mothers and children.

This response to refugees, especially children, is simply unprecedented and un-American. USCIS data shows that 88 percent of these families passed initial screenings and may be eligible for protection. Historically, America has always been welcoming towards refugees, especially during times of significant upheaval.

In the summer of 2015, a judge ordered that these policies violated Flores, and ordered the government to take specific steps to comply, including family reunification and release of parents and children.

The government’s recent actions and interpretation of Flores, which continue to be misguided. The government should immediately reverse the family detention policies, dismantle the facilities, and release children and their parents.

United States Children Asylum Detention and Separation Rights and Justice