Migrant children and families now face indefinite detention by US
Justice Department seeks to sidestep Flores agreement that calls for children to be released after 20 days
The US government is claiming the right to imprison children and mothers caught intersecting the US border illegally for the duration of their immigration proceedings.
A 1997 courtroom village known as the Flores agreement are typically been interpreted to require the Department of Homeland Security to release illegal immigrant children from custody after 20 days.
But Justice Department lawyers have said in the filing in US district court in California that they now have no choice but to hold children for as long as it takes to resolve their immigration lawsuits, because of a preliminary injunction issued on Tuesday in a separate immigration case.
That case, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union in San Diego, challenged the recent government policy of separating families in order to imprison mothers for as long as necessary under President Donald Trumps zero-tolerance policy.
Since that policy was implemented in May, families have been routinely distinguished after apprehension. About 2,000 separated infants are currently under government care.
An executive order issued by Trump this month reversed the implementation of policies, and the subsequent injunction in San Diego ordered the administration has instantly stop distinguishing parents and children and mentioned households must be reunited in 30 periods or less. To comply with the injunction, the government said on Friday it will not separate households but detain families together during the course of its pendency of immigration proceedings. Cases can sometimes take months or years to resolve.
Under previous administrations, parents and children were often released to seek immigration claims at liberty in the US. Trump has decried that so-called catch-and-release policy and vowed to prosecute immigration violators.