Changes to the detention of non-citizen minors and families entered the Federal Register today, despite tens of thousands of public comments in opposition to the changes and serious concerns about the physical, mental, and human effects the changes will have to the affected population.
The changes would significantly alter standards that have been in place since 1996, when a settlement in the case Flores v. Meese outlined restrictions and expectations for the detention of minors. Among the provisions included in the Flores Settlement Agreement was a 20-day limit to the detention of families.
“[T]he new rule closes the legal loophole that arose from the reinterpretation of Flores- which Congress has refused to do - allowing the federal government to house alien families together in appropriate facilities during fair and expeditious proceedings, as was done by the previous Administration in 2014 and 2015,” Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan said at a press conference on Wednesday.
The changes are expected to go into effect on October 22nd, 2019, though individuals in the Department of Homeland Security and immigrant rights groups anticipate ongoing court battles over the changes.
You can find the final rule as published in the Federal Register embedded below.
Image via DHS Flickr