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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Gee, Dolly M"

U.S. Must Release Children From Family Detention Centers, Judge Rules

Westlake Legal Group u-s-must-release-children-from-family-detention-centers-judge-rules U.S. Must Release Children From Family Detention Centers, Judge Rules Immigration Detention Immigration and Emigration Immigration and Customs Enforcement (US) Gee, Dolly M Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Children and Childhood
Westlake Legal Group merlin_173834157_cd57f460-6415-4a7f-8a63-1268b46de725-facebookJumbo U.S. Must Release Children From Family Detention Centers, Judge Rules Immigration Detention Immigration and Emigration Immigration and Customs Enforcement (US) Gee, Dolly M Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Children and Childhood

Citing the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, a federal judge in Los Angeles on Friday ordered the imminent release of migrant children held in the country’s three family detention centers.

The order to release the children by July 17 came after plaintiffs in a long-running case reported that some of them have tested positive for the virus. It applies to children who have been held for more than 20 days in the detention centers run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, two in Texas and one in Pennsylvania.

There were 124 children living in those facilities on June 8, according to the ruling.

In her order, Judge Dolly M. Gee of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California criticized the Trump administration for spotty compliance of recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To prevent the virus from spreading in congregate detention facilities, the agency had recommended social distancing, the wearing of masks and early medical intervention for those with virus symptoms.

“The family residential centers are on fire and there is no more time for half measures,” she wrote.

Given the pandemic, Judge Gee wrote, ICE must work to release the children with “all deliberate speed,” either along with their parents or to suitable guardians with the consent of their parents.

The order was the first time a court had set a firm deadline for the release of minors in family detention if their parents designated a relative in the United States to take custody. Recent orders had required their “prompt” release.

“Some detained parents facing deportation brought their children to this country to save them from rampant violence in their home countries,” said Peter Schey, counsel for the class of detained children, “and would prefer to see their child released to relatives here rather than being deported with the parent to countries where children are routinely kidnapped, beaten and killed.”

Judge Gee oversees compliance with the 1997 Flores settlement agreement that sets national standards for the treatment and release of detained immigrant children.

The Trump administration has been trying to terminate the settlement for the last two years, but those efforts have been blocked by Judge Gee and are currently being appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Eleven children and parents have tested positive for the coronavirus at a family detention center in Karnes City, Texas. Some migrants at a family facility in Dilley, Texas, are awaiting test results after workers there tested positive for the virus.

Over all, about 2,500 immigrants in ICE detention have tested positive for the virus. The agency has said that it has released at least 900 people with underlying conditions and that it has shrunk the population in each facility to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

The Flores Agreement Protected Migrant Children for Decades. New Regulations Aim to End It.

LOS ANGELES — Nearly 35 years ago, long before the current mass influx of Central American families making their way to America’s southern border, a different and more brutal migrant crisis was unfolding.

In El Salvador, government death squads were stalking suspected insurgents. Farmers, human rights activists and even priests were being caught in the crossfire. The widening civil war would leave more than 75,000 people dead, and send tens of thousands of people fleeing to the United States.

One of them was Alma Yanira Cruz, a 12-year-old girl who made her way north to join her mother in Los Angeles after her grandfather and uncle were killed.

What happened to her after she arrived in 1985 violated nearly every principle of today’s standards for protecting migrant children — an ordeal that even now, she said recently, is “too painful to remember, to discuss.”

And yet it had become shockingly routine.

A barricade of razor wire surrounded an old motel in Pasadena, Calif., north of Los Angeles, where migrants were locked in overcrowded rooms, children and adults jammed in together. For weeks, the girl remained there — offered no schooling, no recreation, no doctors, no visits with relatives.

“Alma suffered too much. She felt unsafe. She was mixed with all kinds of people and was afraid,” said her mother, Anna Aldana, who had come to the United States in 1979 and was working as a housekeeper in Los Angeles. “She told me they didn’t give her enough food. She told me she fell out of a high bunk bed.”

The Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday unveiled a sweeping new set of regulations for detaining migrant children, replacing more than two decades of protections that were put into place as a result of what happened to Alma and her fellow detainees in 1985. The new standards, set to be published later this week, would allow the government to detain children and families indefinitely, revise the minimum standards of care and, if they stand up in court, end the 22-year-old consent decree, known as the Flores agreement, that has protected the nation’s youngest and most vulnerable new arrivals.

[Read about the new rules that would allow migrant families to be held indefinitely.]

A class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of Ms. Cruz, one of the other young Salvadorean girls being held in Pasadena; Jenny Lisette Flores, 15; and two other adolescent girls paved the way for one of the most important changes in immigration policy in half a century. When it was finally settled in 1997, the litigation transformed the way migrant children all across the southwest border were treated after arriving in the United States.

No longer could they be held indefinitely in hard-core detention facilities: They had to be released quickly to a family member or guardian or, if that was not possible, transferred speedily to a licensed care facility that did not operate like a jail. A subsequent interpretation of the agreement limited the time most migrant children could spend in detention, generally to no more than 20 days.

The Obama administration, which battled a new surge in migrant families arriving on the border in 2014, tried and failed to get out from under the strict limits. The Trump administration railed against the “legal loopholes” in the consent decree and tried mightily to upend it. The Flores agreement, the administration argued, helped create the current chaos at the border by providing an incentive for migrant parents to bring their children with them — the equivalent, under the current legal framework, of a get-out-of-jail-free card.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_140006313_72406f61-607b-4d34-b3ac-65f6b3da0496-articleLarge The Flores Agreement Protected Migrant Children for Decades. New Regulations Aim to End It. United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Suits and Litigation (Civil) Immigration Detention Immigration and Emigration Illegal Immigration Gee, Dolly M Children and Childhood

Brothers, ages 4 and 3, from El Salvador at a Border Patrol station in Brownsville, Tex., in 2014.CreditTodd Heisler/The New York Times

Administration officials said that the new regulations maintain the underlying purpose of the Flores agreement, and all children will be “treated with dignity, respect, and special concern for their particular vulnerability as minors.”

But those who spearheaded the long-running litigation disagree.

“These regulations issued under orders from the White House show President Trump’s decision to politicize the detention of migrant children as part of his re-election campaign and his callous indifference to their safety and well-being,” said Peter Schey, who along with his co-counsel, Carlos Holguin, filed the original lawsuit.

When the Trump administration last year tried to get around the Flores agreement by separating children from their parents in order to detain the parents alone, the policy created such an uproar that it was soon rescinded, at least officially. Then, administration lawyers went to court to try to win permission to keep children with their parents in detention-type facilities for longer than 20 days.

Judge Dolly Gee of Federal District Court in Los Angeles, who oversees the agreement, denied the government’s request, blaming more than 20 years of congressional inaction and “ill-considered executive action” for the “current stalemate.” Three months later, in September, the administration published the proposed new Flores regulations for comment in the Federal Register.

After the final rule is published later this week, the plaintiffs’ lawyers will have one week to file a brief with the court if they believe the regulations fail to implement the terms of the settlement. If not rejected by the court, the regulations would take effect 60 days after publication.

The two plaintiffs’ lawyers have returned to court dozens of times to force the administration to abide by the agreement’s provisions and made repeated visits to detention centers to inspect them or interview children. Most recently, the legal observers in the case reported on a border facility in Clint, Tex., where they said migrant children were being held in filthy conditions with inadequate food.

“If someone had told me in 1985 that our work to protect children would continue into 2019,” Mr. Holguin said, “there is no way I would have believed it.”

Mr. Holguin was a 30-year-old lawyer working with Mr. Schey at a public-interest law firm when the two lawyers first got drawn into the case. It started with a phone call from the actor Ed Asner, who had heard about Ms. Cruz’s case and wanted someone to intervene.

Mr. Holguin’s father, the son of a Mexican immigrant, had been a public school teacher in East Los Angeles who had supported the 1968 Latino student walkouts across the city protesting racism and substandard education for Mexican-Americans. After college, Mr. Holguin enrolled in the People’s College of Law, an unaccredited law school in Los Angeles, convinced that the quickest way to a more equitable society was through the courts.

Mr. Schey was the son of a German gentile mother and a communist Jewish father who had escaped on a boat to South Africa during World War II. The family immigrated to United States when Mr. Schey was a teenager.

Grieving for two women killed by guerrillas in El Salvador in 1982. The civil war there left more than 75,000 people dead, and sent tens of thousands of people fleeing to the United States.CreditLuis Romero/Associated Press

By the 1980s, Los Angeles was ground zero in the immigrant-rights movement. “The key national organizations were based in Los Angeles. The most vocal immigrant defenders worked in L.A.,” Mr. Schey said. The two lawyers were working together out of a 1920s-era Craftsman house with bad plumbing and a warped roof when the call about the girls being held in Pasadena came in.

Los Angeles was absorbing thousands of war refugees. “Back then, it was guerrillas, not gangs making people leave,” said Ms. Aldana, sitting recently in her modest one-bedroom apartment in a middle-class Los Angeles neighborhood adorned with photographs of her teenage grandchildren — the twins her daughter would go on to have.

Guerrillas who rampaged through her neighborhood in El Salvador had forced her children to procure and prepare food for them, she recalled. “I had to get them out of there.” After her son, Luis Alberto, crossed the border undetected, she decided Alma should come.

But Alma was apprehended by border agents at San Ysidro, and transferred to the detention facility in Pasadena. Ms. Aldana feared she would be deported if she came forward to claim her daughter, and the authorities would not allow anyone else to take her. So the girl languished in custody.

“I wept and wept. I felt helpless,” recalled Ms. Aldana.

At about the same time, Jenny Lisette Flores, whose mother was also undocumented and living in Los Angeles, had arrived at the border and been sent to the Pasadena motel. Her mother, too, was afraid to pick up her daughter because of her immigration status.

“Children were being indefinitely detained. The government was using them as bait to arrest their parents,” said Mr. Holguin.

With an army of law students and volunteer lawyers, the pair began visiting facilities and documenting what they witnessed.

The most serious thing they found was that immigration agents were doing body cavity searches on migrant children, said John Hagar, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California, a co-counsel in the case. “They would look up a boy’s anus and a girl’s vagina,” he said.

The lawsuit filed on July 11, 1985, argued that the government needed to meet basic child-welfare standards, with education, recreation and medical examinations. It also said the authorities should release children to competent and available adults, rather than indefinitely detaining them until a parent or legal guardian could come forward.

On the day that the suit was filed, Ms. Aldana appeared at a news conference alongside Mr. Schey and the actor, Mr. Asner. To hide her identity, she tied a bandanna around her face, leaving only her forehead and eyes exposed.

Migrants from Guatemala on the Mexican side of the border fence in June.CreditIlana Panich-Linsman for The New York Times

“I was on TV, and I said that I had brought my daughter because I didn’t want her kidnapped by guerrillas,” Ms. Aldana said.

A few weeks later, a judge ordered the girls released to people appointed by their mothers who were American citizens. Ms. Cruz was handed over to a family friend who represented her in the lawsuit; Ms. Flores was released to an uncle.

The lawyers sought a nationwide injunction to apply the same principles to all children in federal custody. The parties began discussing a settlement and reached the now-famous consent decree in 1997.

“At the time, we didn’t realize it would be seminal,” said Doris Meissner, the immigration chief in the Clinton administration who signed off on the settlement. She said she had advised addressing the problems head-on. “If there are real issues surrounding the detention of minors, and the government is being held accountable for poor conditions, why are we litigating in favor of what we are doing wrong? Why don’t we settle the lawsuit?”

Complying with the standards in the settlement, she said, was “the right thing to do for kids.”

Little did the plaintiffs’ lawyers know that holding the government to the consent decree would become their life’s work.

“By and large, there was substantial compliance,” recalled Mr. Schey.

Then, in 2014, Central American families and unaccompanied children began pushing across the border in ever-larger numbers, fleeing horrific gang violence, domestic abuse and entrenched poverty. Most of them were seeking asylum. As the numbers climbed, the Obama administration responded by erecting large detention centers for families.

Mr. Holguin and Mr. Schey sprang into action in early 2015, filing a motion in federal court to enforce the Flores agreement. Judge Gee ruled that the settlement applied even to a child apprehended with a parent — meaning that the de facto 20-day limit on detentions applied not just to children, but to parents who were detained with their children.

The numbers of children in detention began rising again late last year, and Mr. Holguin and Mr. Schey enlisted dozens of lawyers and health professionals to inspect facilities like the one in Clint where they were being kept.

What they found was a constant pattern: One facility would be fixed. Then there would be problems at a different one.

“It’s like we are playing Whac-a-Mole. Done with that, then another violation comes up,” Mr. Holguin said.

Today, both Ms. Cruz and Ms. Flores live in Southern California, with children of their own. Though Ms. Cruz spoke briefly to The New York Times, neither wanted to be interviewed. Mr. Schey, who called the women “the Rosa Parks of the civil rights movement for immigrant children,” said he had not seen them in years.

“I’d love to see them,” he said, “to tell them that their willingness to be lead plaintiffs has provided protections for more than a million immigrant children.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Administration Rule Would Allow Immigrant Families to Be Held Indefinitely

Westlake Legal Group 00dc-flores1-facebookJumbo Trump Administration Rule Would Allow Immigrant Families to Be Held Indefinitely United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J McAleenan, Kevin K Immigration and Emigration Immigration and Customs Enforcement (US) Illegal Immigration Homeland Security Department Health and Human Services Department Gee, Dolly M Border Patrol (US)

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration unveiled a regulation on Wednesday that would allow it to detain indefinitely migrant families who cross the border illegally, replacing a decades-old court agreement that imposed a limit on how long the government could hold migrant children in custody and specified the level of care they must receive.

The White House has for more than a year pressed the Department of Homeland Security to replace the agreement, known as the Flores settlement, a shift that the administration says is crucial to halt immigration across the southwestern border.

The new regulation, which requires approval from a federal judge before it could go into effect and was expected to be immediately challenged in court, would establish standards for conditions in detention centers and specifically abolish a 20-day limit on detaining families in immigration jails, a cap that has prompted President Trump to repeatedly complain about the “catch and release” of families from Central America and elsewhere into the United States.

“This rule allows the federal government to enforce immigration laws as passed by Congress,” Kevin K. McAleenan, the acting secretary of homeland security, said in a statement. He called it a “critical rule” that would allow the government to detain families and maintain the “integrity of the immigration system.”

The administration proposed the rule last fall, allowing the public to comment on the potential regulation. It is scheduled to be published this week in the Federal Register and would take effect 60 days later, though administration officials concede that the expected court challenge will probably delay it.

[The Flores agreement protected migrant children for decades.]

Under the new rule, the administration would be free to send families who are caught crossing the border illegally to a family residential center to be held for as long as it takes for their immigration cases to be decided. Officials said families cases could be resolved within three months, though many could drag on much longer.

Trump administration officials — who briefed reporters on Tuesday night on the condition of anonymity to discuss the plans — said that many of the families would be detained until they were either released after being awarded asylum or they were deported to their home countries. Some families might be awarded parole to leave the facilities while the courts decide their fate.

The 20-day limit has been in place since 2015, a legal outgrowth of a 1997 court-ordered consent decree after a federal class-action lawsuit alleged physical and emotional harm done to immigrant children held for extended periods of time in the detention facilities.

Previous administrations tried to change the rules for detaining children in efforts to reduce surges of migrants crossing the border. Mr. Trump’s homeland security officials have repeatedly said that limiting the detentions of entire migrant families has driven the surge of Central American families who crossed the border this year.

The officials said on Tuesday that enacting the new regulation would send a powerful message that bringing children to the United States was not “a passport” to being released from detention.

They predicted that the rule would cause a significant decrease in the number of families trying to cross into the United States illegally, reducing the need for more family residential centers.

Withdrawing from the consent decree has also been a personal objective for Stephen Miller, the architect of Mr. Trump’s immigration policy. Delays in finishing the new regulation had prompted Mr. Miller to lash out at senior homeland security officials, who were ousted from the department.

The New York Times reported in April that Mr. Miller berated the former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Ronald D. Vitiello, for not finishing the new rule. Mr. Vitiello later had his nomination withdrawn by Mr. Trump, who said he was not tough enough for the job.

The Flores settlement has also been at the root of partisan debates on immigration. Democrats have said the rules, are imperative to ensuring the well-being of detained children, especially after reports of children being kept in overcrowded cells and sometimes going without showers, toothpaste or hot meals.

Mr. McAleenan told the House Homeland Security Committee in May that the Flores settlement had incentivized migration to the United States, saying that “if an adult arrives with a child, they have a likelihood of staying in the United States.”

Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi and the chairman of the committee, reminded Mr. McAleenan of the original purpose of the court-ordered regulations.

“It was about prolonged detention of children had proven to be harmful to their health,” Mr. Thompson said. “I think the court looked at it from that perspective rather than a punitive decision on the department.”

The Trump administration’s regulation, which is several hundred pages long, eliminates a requirement that federal detention centers for immigrant families be licensed by states, most of which had no such licenses.

Instead, under the regulation, the three centers built to house hundreds of immigrant families — in Dilley and Karnes City, Tex., and Leesport, Pa. — would have to meet standards set only by ICE, which runs them.

The administration officials insisted Tuesday that the facilities were, and would continue to be, maintained at high standards for the immigrants who were detained there. They said the facilities provided health care, education and “top notch” food.

But critics of the administration have long argued that the facilities were unsuitable for children to be held for long periods of time. And the recent examples of horrible conditions at overcrowded Border Patrol detention centers have underscored their concerns about the residential centers.

“We don’t disagree with detaining children when it’s necessary — namely, if they’re a flight risk or they’re a danger to themselves or others, we agree,” said Peter Schey, a lawyer who filed the original case and has continued to defend the settlement terms in court since. “It’s the unnecessary detention of child that this settlement sought to end. So these regulations really reflect a flagrant disregard on the part of President Trump and his administration for the safety and the well-being of children in the care of the federal government.”

Last summer, the Trump administration began separating children from their parents as a way to get around the Flores agreement. The children were sent to the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services while the adults were imprisoned while awaiting trial on their violation of immigration laws.

A fierce political backlash forced Mr. Trump to publicly abandon the separation policy, though immigration advocates said some families continued to be separated after that announcement.

Administration officials said Tuesday that the effort to allow families to be detained indefinitely was an attempt to avoid having to either separate families or release them while they waited for their cases to be heard.

Even before the final rule was announced on Wednesday, immigration advocates said it amounted to a cruel effort to imprison families — some with infants or young children — many of whom are fleeing violence and corruption in their home countries.

Under the terms of the 1997 consent decree, the regulation must be approved by the judge in the original case, Judge Dolly M. Gee of United States District Court for the Central District of California. The government will have seven days to file a brief in her court seeking her approval of the regulation.

If she refuses, the administration is expected to appeal her decision in a case that could drag on for months or even years, legal experts said.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Migrant Families Would Face Indefinite Detention Under New Trump Rule

Westlake Legal Group 00dc-flores1-facebookJumbo Migrant Families Would Face Indefinite Detention Under New Trump Rule United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J McAleenan, Kevin K Immigration Detention Immigration and Emigration Immigration and Customs Enforcement (US) Illegal Immigration Homeland Security Department Health and Human Services Department Gee, Dolly M Border Patrol (US)

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration unveiled a regulation on Wednesday that would allow it to detain indefinitely migrant families who cross the border illegally, replacing a decades-old court agreement that imposed a limit on how long the government could hold migrant children in custody and specified the level of care they must receive.

The White House has for more than a year pressed the Department of Homeland Security to replace the agreement, known as the Flores settlement, a shift that the administration says is crucial to halt immigration across the southwestern border.

The new regulation, which requires approval from a federal judge before it could go into effect and was expected to be immediately challenged in court, would establish standards for conditions in detention centers and specifically abolish a 20-day limit on detaining families in immigration jails, a cap that has prompted President Trump to repeatedly complain about the “catch and release” of families from Central America and elsewhere into the United States.

“This rule allows the federal government to enforce immigration laws as passed by Congress,” Kevin K. McAleenan, the acting secretary of homeland security, said in a statement. He called it a “critical rule” that would allow the government to detain families and maintain the “integrity of the immigration system.”

The administration proposed the rule last fall, allowing the public to comment on the potential regulation. It is scheduled to be published this week in the Federal Register and would take effect 60 days later, though administration officials concede that the expected court challenge will probably delay it.

[The Flores agreement protected migrant children for decades.]

Under the new rule, the administration would be free to send families who are caught crossing the border illegally to a family residential center to be held for as long as it takes for their immigration cases to be decided. Officials said families cases could be resolved within three months, though many could drag on much longer.

Trump administration officials — who briefed reporters on Tuesday night on the condition of anonymity to discuss the plans — said that many of the families would be detained until they were either released after being awarded asylum or they were deported to their home countries. Some families might be awarded parole to leave the facilities while the courts decide their fate.

The 20-day limit has been in place since 2015, a legal outgrowth of a 1997 court-ordered consent decree after a federal class-action lawsuit alleged physical and emotional harm done to immigrant children held for extended periods of time in the detention facilities.

Previous administrations tried to change the rules for detaining children in efforts to reduce surges of migrants crossing the border. Mr. Trump’s homeland security officials have repeatedly said that limiting the detentions of entire migrant families has driven the surge of Central American families who crossed the border this year.

The officials said on Tuesday that enacting the new regulation would send a powerful message that bringing children to the United States was not “a passport” to being released from detention.

They predicted that the rule would cause a significant decrease in the number of families trying to cross into the United States illegally, reducing the need for more family residential centers.

Withdrawing from the consent decree has also been a personal objective for Stephen Miller, the architect of Mr. Trump’s immigration policy. Delays in finishing the new regulation had prompted Mr. Miller to lash out at senior homeland security officials, who were ousted from the department.

The New York Times reported in April that Mr. Miller berated the former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Ronald D. Vitiello, for not finishing the new rule. Mr. Vitiello later had his nomination withdrawn by Mr. Trump, who said he was not tough enough for the job.

The Flores settlement has also been at the root of partisan debates on immigration. Democrats have said the rules, are imperative to ensuring the well-being of detained children, especially after reports of children being kept in overcrowded cells and sometimes going without showers, toothpaste or hot meals.

Mr. McAleenan told the House Homeland Security Committee in May that the Flores settlement had incentivized migration to the United States, saying that “if an adult arrives with a child, they have a likelihood of staying in the United States.”

Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi and the chairman of the committee, reminded Mr. McAleenan of the original purpose of the court-ordered regulations.

“It was about prolonged detention of children had proven to be harmful to their health,” Mr. Thompson said. “I think the court looked at it from that perspective rather than a punitive decision on the department.”

The Trump administration’s regulation, which is several hundred pages long, eliminates a requirement that federal detention centers for immigrant families be licensed by states, most of which had no such licenses.

Instead, under the regulation, the three centers built to house hundreds of immigrant families — in Dilley and Karnes City, Tex., and Leesport, Pa. — would have to meet standards set only by ICE, which runs them.

The administration officials insisted Tuesday that the facilities were, and would continue to be, maintained at high standards for the immigrants who were detained there. They said the facilities provided health care, education and “top notch” food.

But critics of the administration have long argued that the facilities were unsuitable for children to be held for long periods of time. And the recent examples of horrible conditions at overcrowded Border Patrol detention centers have underscored their concerns about the residential centers.

“We don’t disagree with detaining children when it’s necessary — namely, if they’re a flight risk or they’re a danger to themselves or others, we agree,” said Peter Schey, a lawyer who filed the original case and has continued to defend the settlement terms in court since. “It’s the unnecessary detention of child that this settlement sought to end. So these regulations really reflect a flagrant disregard on the part of President Trump and his administration for the safety and the well-being of children in the care of the federal government.”

Last summer, the Trump administration began separating children from their parents as a way to get around the Flores agreement. The children were sent to the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services while the adults were imprisoned while awaiting trial on their violation of immigration laws.

A fierce political backlash forced Mr. Trump to publicly abandon the separation policy, though immigration advocates said some families continued to be separated after that announcement.

Administration officials said Tuesday that the effort to allow families to be detained indefinitely was an attempt to avoid having to either separate families or release them while they waited for their cases to be heard.

Even before the final rule was announced on Wednesday, immigration advocates said it amounted to a cruel effort to imprison families — some with infants or young children — many of whom are fleeing violence and corruption in their home countries.

Under the terms of the 1997 consent decree, the regulation must be approved by the judge in the original case, Judge Dolly M. Gee of United States District Court for the Central District of California. The government will have seven days to file a brief in her court seeking her approval of the regulation.

If she refuses, the administration is expected to appeal her decision in a case that could drag on for months or even years, legal experts said.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com