Deadline – submit your comments at this link by November 6, 2018. Or copy the link into your browser:  https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=ICEB-2018-0002-0001 

As Hurricane Florence bears down on the Carolinas and Georgia, we learn that the administration has been stealing FEMA money to spend on jailing and deporting immigrants. Here’s another part of the unnatural disaster that is the administration’s immigration policy: a proposed rule by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that would permit migrant children to be jailed with their families for an indefinite period of time. The rule would throw out the current 20-day limit on detaining these children, and would also permit the administration to detain families in facilities that aren’t “state licensed,” as currently required. We only have until November 6 to comment on this dreadful proposed rule, so read up and act now!

The proposed rule would terminate the settlement agreement in Flores v. Reno, a long-established federal court class-action settlement that ensures the safety and proper care of minors in immigration detention. Among other provisions, the Flores settlement prohibits the government from detaining migrant children – whether they arrive unaccompanied or with their families – for more than 20 days.

Since Current Occupant’s June 2018 executive order ended his family separation policy, the administration has struggled to comply with Flores’s 20-day limit while simultaneously keeping families together and detaining them until their immigration proceedings are completed. In July 2018, federal judge Dolly Gee, who oversees Flores, denied the administration’s request to modify the settlement agreement to let them detain children beyond 20 days.

The proposed DHS/HHS rule is an explicit attempt to do an end run around Judge Gee’s ruling, and around the other protections in the Flores settlement. It would allow the government to keep migrant children locked up with their families indefinitely, pending deportation hearings; it would also allow the families to be housed in unlicensed facilities, while the Flores settlement requires only state licensed facilities to be used.

Please speak up NOW. Leave a comment at this link (do not comment on this article, please click on the link, or type this into your browser:  https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=ICEB-2018-0002-0001 ) for Proposed Rule Docket ID ICEB-2018-0002. The rule is titled Apprehension, Processing, Care, and Custody of Alien Minors and Unaccompanied Alien Children. You can also comment by email: write to ICE.Regulations@ice.dhs.gov (include DHS Docket No. ICEB-2018-0002 in the subject line).

Mix & match from these suggested points to include in your comment, and feel free to add your own thoughts:

  • Don’t overturn the long-standing Flores Settlement Agreement. No child should be held in jail indefinitely and in facilities that are not state licensed.
  • The long-established Flores Settlement Agreement is necessary to ensure that migrant children are treated humanely. Its limits on jail time and housing conditions must not be modified to keep children in detention longer than 20 days, or in unlicensed facilities.
  • Overturning the Flores court-ordered protections will waste billions in taxpayer money to jail children and their parents. This administration should uphold American values and protect children in its care, use humane options for release from detention, and provide families a meaningful chance to apply for asylum rather than implementing regulations to detain children indefinitely.
  • The indefinite detention of migrant children and families is inhumane and economically wasteful.

Watch the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s short video about the proposed changes to the Flores Settlement Agreement and possible impacts on the detention of immigrant children.

Read our recent article for background on the administration’s ongoing attempts to separate refugee families and imprison children. And see this article for other ways you can help immigrants.

19 thoughts on “Help stop the jailing of immigrant children

  1. The indefinite detention of children is not of human nature. This act is absolutely unacceptable and should not be allowed. As a nation we must uphold our American values and these detention center is not one of it.There are other ways to handle situations like this and people should work to figure it out instead of coming up with the easiest option for them.

  2. It is true that this act is inhumane. There can be proper ways to attain children and their families. Families and parents should be given the chance to consider or choose the safest option for their children and then themselves. Children should not be put into such scarce situations and should be provided with the best care.

  3. I believe that the Flores Settlement Agreement should not be overturned. Innocent children should not be in jail by in a state that is not licensed. This act is inhumane and is completely unacceptable. The parents of the children should be the ones who make decisions for their children and where the safest place for them to go is. The state should not be the ones making decisions for the children, taking them away from their families.

  4. Seperating children from their families is already inhumane. Extending the detainment of those children would be further that problem. This detainment of children has a long lasting effect on the children’s lives. The kids don’t deserve this. Please help stop the detainment of immigrant children.

  5. I believe this is unjust, because people are only bringing their families over because of the position for which this country has put them in. They come across the border in search for a better life, and a job to support their families. This country has been denying them this opportunity simply because they are selfish and do not wish to share their success. Now they want to hold them prisoner indefinitely. This is preposterous I hope these messages me along with the messages of my fellow U.S citizens can stop this action.

  6. The jailing of child immigrants should be put to a stop and shouldn’t continue to progress. This issue keeps more and more children from growing up in a normal environment. If these jail days are extended to indefinitely, than it would cause these children to spend their lives in jail forever and not have a chance to get out. These children would be kept from living a life where they grow up, go to school, work, and pursue any other dreams they may have. We need to be able to put ourselves in their shoes to understand how wrong this choice would be and how it could impact many lives.

  7. Children that are not native do not deserve to be jailed for just living in America. They came here for better opportunities and we are taking that away from them. We are basically wasting their time by forcing them into jails. We need to stop this now and make sure that this rule is not put into effect. The Flores v Reno settlement agreement should still be followed. The kids probably don’t have the greatest vocabulary so they would be even more lost. Please avoid this new rule.

  8. I think what the government are doing to the immigrants are horrible because why do people that are not immigrants try to help the immigrants? The immigrants come to the US to try to get a new life and start a family the right not struggling back in their country by wars, gangs, and etc. This wrong for the children because some of them don’t know why their going to jail and they’ll find out later that their parents are illegal immigrants and they wouldn’t like them no more. Like one example, was when a father of a little girl was getting taken away right out of her hand and later she found out that her dad was an immigrants, then after that she hated him and said she never wanted to talk to him ever again and she’s only 6 years old. So I think the government should stop trying to take immigrants away because all they want is to start a future and family the right way.

  9. I think what the government are doing to the immigrants are horrible because why do people that are that are not immigrants try to help the immigrants? The immigrants come to to the US to try to get a new life and start a family the right not struggling back in their country by wars, gangs, and etc. This is wrong for the children because some of them don’t know why their going to jail and they’ll find out later that their parents are illegal immigrants and they wouldn’t like them no more. Like one example, was when a father of a little girl was getting taken away right out her hand and later she found out that she hated him and said she never wanted to talk to him ever again and she’s only six years old. So I think the government should stop trying to take immigrants away because is the American dream and a bright future.

  10. I believe that the government are doing to the immigrants are horrible because why do people that are that are not immigrants try to help the immigrants? The immigrants come to to the US to try to get a new life and start a family the right not struggling back in their country by wars, gangs, and etc. This is wrong for the children because some of them don’t know why their going to jail and they’ll find out later that their parents are illegal immigrants and they wouldn’t like them no more. Like one example, was when a father of a little girl was getting taken away right out her hand and later she found out that she hated him and said she never wanted to talk to him ever again and she’s only six years old. So I think the government should stop trying to take immigrants away because is the American dream and a bright future.

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