The Flores Settlement

Photo via END FAMILY DETENTION/ Latinos Rebels

What is the Flores Settlement:

In 1997 the Flores Settlement Agreement named after Jenny Lisette Flores, a 15-year-old girl from El Salvador was passed in order to protect and limit the amount of time immigrant children were being held in detention centers.

The Flores Settlement states that children are not allowed to be held in detention for longer than 20 days as it causes harm and trauma to the physical, emotional and mental well-being of children.

The Flores Settlement requires several things; that the government release children from detention centers without unnecessary delay to their parents, other adult relatives or licensed programs, as well as that they provide detained children with a certain quality of life.

Listen to the history of the Flores Settlement and its effects on immigration below:

What is happening with the Flores Settlement now:

The Trump administration is seeking to make changes to the Flores Settlement to accommodate their “zero-tolerance” immigration policy. These new regulations will result in children being held in detention facilites for as long as the administration deems necessary. This means that children will be held with their parents in detention for an indefinite amount of time. The new regulations that have been published are “…expected to lead to the detention of thousands of families apprehended at the US-Mexico border, by eliminating extra legal protections for children who arrive with their parents (VOX).”

Furthermore, “Under the proposed regulation, “emergency” loopholes could result in the denial of basic needs or services to families in detention, as well as reduced access to due process. Plus, children would no longer be required to be transferred to Health and Human Services facilities within 72 hours of being detained (IFCLA). 

What can you do:

Now is the time to act. Similar to public charge there is a 60-day period for public comment. All comments made will have to be reviewed, there fore it is imperative to not only make a public comment but to share this information so that others can also comment. Public comment is open until November 6th, 2018. 

To make a comment click here

Create your own comment or use the sample language below:

I oppose the proposed rule “Apprehension, Processing, Care and Custody of Alien Minors and Unaccompanied Alien Children” because indefinite detention of families is abusive and inhumane. It has been proven that even short stays in detention facilities can be detrimental to a child’s health and well-being. Alternatives to detention, such as the Family Case Management System, exist to reduce the harmful effects of detention. This regulation will allow the current administration to operate facilities with no oversight and will be costly to taxpayers. A human being should be treated with dignity, compassion and respect. Please, oppose the proposed changes and preserve the Flores protections for immigrant children.

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