In more good news and another victory for immigrant children, a federal judge on Friday upheld a landmark 1997 court settlement governing the standards of care for immigrant children in U.S. custody, rejecting the Trump administration’s attempt to dismantle protections for immigrant children and supplant them with regulations that would have had a devastating impact on children’s health, education and general welfare.
The long march of court documents related to the settlement, which is known as the Flores agreement, leads us here, to this concise rejection of the Trump administration’s regulations: “Defendants cannot simply ignore the dictates of the consent decree merely because they no longer agree with its approach as a matter of policy.”
The “dictates” of the Flores agreement are clear: immigrant children should exit detention expeditiously and should be cared for in settings that are in the best interest of the child under the circumstances. The Flores agreement recognizes that immigrant children, like all children, are uniquely vulnerable due to their age and experiences and require special protection and support. That court-ordered protection and support cannot be overridden by the administration’s relentless campaign of cruelty.
Last month, CDF joined more than 20 child advocacy and professional organizations to support oppositions to the administration’s attempt to subvert Flores. You can read that friend-of-the-court brief here.