Family Detention: Flores Update

Earlier this summer, 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 ruling gave the administration two months to change its family detention policies, with a deadline of October 23rd.  In her ruling, Judge Gee prohibited the administration from holding children at centers not licensed to care for them and from holding families unless they posed a flight risk or a threat to national security. The administration says they have complied and that detention centers are now used as short-term processing sites.  Immigrant advocates, however, disagree.

As the debate looms over next steps, some detention facilities have started the process of seeking child care licenses, and others are at risk of losing their licensing completely.