Family Detention Update

Recently, Federal Judge Doll Gee ruled that the Obama administration’s detention of children and their mothers who were caught crossing the border illegally is a violation of the 1997 Flores Settlement, which set national standards on the detention of children.

In her decision, Judge Gee rejected the Administration’s arguments for detaining families, and found that the two detention centers in Texas that were opened last summer fail to meet minimum legal requirements of the 1997 settlement for facilities housing children.  Judge Gee also found that migrant children had been held in “widespread deplorable conditions” in Border Patrol stations after they were first caught, and that authorities had “wholly failed” to provide the “safe and sanitary” conditions required for children.

This week, the Department of Justice filed a response to Judge Gee’s ruling, arguing that family detention facilities run by the Department of Homeland Security are a necessary tool to help deter illegal migration to the United States.  While this response does not act as an appeal to the ruling, it is likely one will be filed next week.