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Trump administration plans new family detention program

After people in Florida and across the country expressed outrage at the separation of immigrant children from their parents by the Trump administration, the government is now pursuing a policy change that would allow it to keep families detained for longer periods. The Trump administration’s immigration policies and vocal rhetoric have concerned many people nationwide. Now, the Department of Homeland Security announced proposed rules that would end an agreement that has been in place since 1997.

Called the Flores agreement, the arrangement resolved a court case over holding families in immigration detention in 1997. These principles require children to be held in the least restrictive environment, generally compelling their release after 20 days of detention. According to the proposal made in September 2018, the government would instead be able to detain entire families until their immigration cases are closed. The Trump administration argued that cases would go faster than under current practice in which families are released from detention while their immigration matters are pending.

As a result, the original case is almost certain to be brought back to court. One federal judge had already denied a request by representatives of the administration to allow families to be detained for a longer period of time. The 20-year-old agreement became a matter of debate after the Trump administration vowed to criminally prosecute adults crossing the border without documents and separated over 2,900 children from their parents. There are already three family immigration detention centers, but the government said that they are already at capacity.

People in Florida may be concerned about their immigration matters, especially as the Trump administration ramps up rhetoric about migrant issues. People who are concerned about deportation, asylum applications, immigration detention and other issues might benefit from consulting with an immigration attorney. A lawyer may help migrants defend their rights and ability to stay in the country.