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Outrage over Trumps sickening plans to detain migrant children indefinitely

first_img … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Outrage over Trump’s ‘sickening’ plans to detain migrant children indefinitely Fri 7 Sep 2018 16.43 EDT Opponents of Donald Trump’s approach to immigration have lined up to condemn as “inhumane” and “sickening” proposals to facilitate indefinite detention of migrant children and their families.The administration has announced it plans to withdraw from a federal court agreement that strictly limits the conditions under which authorities can detain migrant children. And the government proposed new rules it said would enable it to detain minors during their immigration proceedings.The administration has long targeted the Flores Settlement Agreement, a 1997 federal consent decree that places significant curbs on how long and in what conditions the government can detain migrant children as it seeks to dissuade migrants from crossing the US southern border. This article is more than 10 months old Share on Twitter Last modified on Mon 10 Sep 2018 05.09 EDT Support The Guardian Share via Email Share on Facebook Share on Facebook Shares573573 Share on Messenger Since you’re here… Trump administration Staff and agencies Share on WhatsApp Read more Share on LinkedIncenter_img Topics Donald Trump If it goes into effect, the regulation would enshrine some of the protections while circumventing other key ones, by allowing the government to detain children in facilities not licensed by state authorities to hold minors.Opponents were outraged. The plan was “inhumane”, said the House of Representatives minority leader, Nancy Pelosi.“This is another inhumane assault on families and children,” she said. “It’s a wrong decision … I completely disagree with what the president has done.”The Trump administration has created an immigration crisis in recent months. It first announcing “zero tolerance” of unauthorized border crossings, regardless of whether people were fleeing violence and wishing to seek asylum in the US, then began systematically and forcibly separating families so it could hold the adults in jail and prosecute them, while taking children and babies to separate detention facilities. After sustained uproar and chaos at the southern border, Trump announced he was ending the policy, but thousands of children remained separated and hundreds are still stranded, with growing fears that some families may never be reunited. news The latest major Trump resignations and firings Sign up to receive the top US stories every morning New rules would enable the government to circumvent court limits on detaining minors during their immigration proceedings US immigration This article is more than 10 months old The secretary of homeland security, Kirstjen Nielsen, said ‘legal loopholes’ prevent the government from detaining and deporting migrant families.Photograph: Cliff Owen/AP Share on Twitter Share via Email Immigrants and their advocates are expected to mount legal challenges to the move. The agreement has been interpreted over the years to set a 20-day limit on detaining children who entered the country without documentation, and also requires facilities that house migrant children to be licensed by a state authority.Trump administration officials have repeatedly referred to the agreement’s standards as “loopholes” that attract migrants by forcing authorities to release people pending their immigration hearings.The secretary of homeland security, Kirstjen Nielsen, repeated that reasoning, saying in a statement that “legal loopholes” prevent the government from detaining and deporting migrant families.“This rule addresses one of the primary pull factors for illegal immigration and allows the federal government to enforce immigration laws as passed by Congress,” Nielsen said.Thursday’s regulatory filing said the government would seek to terminate the Flores settlement, and put forward regulations it said “parallel the relevant and substantive terms” of the agreement.The new rules would ensure “that all juveniles in the government’s custody are treated with dignity, respect, and special concern for their particular vulnerability as minors”, the regulation said.The American Civil Liberties Union weighed in.“It is sickening to see the United States government looking for ways to jail more children for longer,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s immigrants’ rights project.One significant change would be a new licensing system to allow authorities to hold children in detention centers that are not licensed by state authorities to detain children.The facilities would be licensed by an outside auditor employed by the Department of Homeland Security that would ensure the sites comply with standards established by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice), the regulation says.The administration earlier this year asked a federal court to ease the limits mandated by the Flores agreement, but the judge overseeing the agreement, Dolly M Gee of the US district court, rejected those requests.The Council on American-Islamic Relations (Cair) noted that the public now has 60 days to comment.“This inhumane policy proposal is further evidence that the Trump administration intentionally seeks to impose cruel and unnecessary hardships on families seeking a better life in this country in order to carry out its racist and anti-immigrant agenda,” said Cair’s national executive director, Nihad Awad. 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