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Biden administration moves to terminate agreement governing conditions for migrant children in US custody

The Biden administration moved Friday to terminate a decades-old agreement that governs conditions for migrant children in government custody, according to a court filing, which argues that the settlement was meant to be temporary.

The 1997 Flores settlement, as the agreement is known, requires the government to release children from government custody without unnecessary delay to sponsors, like parents or adult relatives, and dictates conditions by which children are held. The Health and Human Services Department is charged with the care of unaccompanied migrant children.

The Biden administration has previously signaled that it planned to end the Flores agreement, instead preparing a federal regulation that, the administration argues, “faithfully implements” the requirements spelled out in the settlement, provides additional protections and responds to “unforeseen changed circumstances since 1997.” The regulation was published in late April.

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