Family Detention

Earlier this month, Federal Judge Dolly Gee ruled that the Obama administration’s detention of children and their mothers violates the 1997 Flores Settlement, which set national standards on the detention of children.

The Department of Justice filed a response to Judge Gee’s ruling, urging her to reconsider her ruling and 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.

Recently, after considering final arguments from both sides, Judge Gee issued a final order to put her ruling into effect.  The order gives the Obama administration two months to change its detention practices in order to ensure the rapid release of children and their parents that were caught crossing the border without documents.  In her order, Judge Gee instructs the administration to release children “without unnecessary delay” to a parent or other relative in the United States and to release the parent as well unless that person poses a flight risk.  It is unclear at this time how the administration will respond.