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Trump administration moves to terminate court agreement, hold migrant children and parents longer

The Trump administration is moving to terminate a federal court settlement restricting how long U.S. officials can detain migrant children with their parents and replace it with a rule that could expand family detention and dramatically increase the time children spend in custody.

The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services will issue a rule Friday to withdraw from the Flores Settlement Agreement, the federal consent decree that has set basic standards for the detention of migrant children and teenagers by the United States since 1997.

The Women’s Refugee Commission said the Trump administration “is intentionally harming children,” and the American Civil Liberties Union called the proposal “yet another cruel attack on children.”