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Biden Administration’s Flores Agreement Rollback Raises Safety Concerns for Immigrant Children

Media Contact

Camilla Jenkins

cjenkins@childrensrights.org

917-971-1784

Today, following the Biden Administration’s filing to partially terminate the Flores Settlement Agreement, which establishes standards for how children are treated in federal immigration custody, Leecia Welch, Deputy Litigation Director at Children’s Rights and co-counsel in Flores v. Garland, issued the following statement:

“While we anticipated the eventual conclusion of the Flores settlement, this Administration’s rush to terminate it without adequate licensing oversight jeopardizes thousands of children’s safety. 

“Through relentless advocacy, we have made it our duty to shed light on the countless harrowing stories of children in federal immigration custody. Without Flores protection, we will no longer be able to meet with those children and act as watchdogs to ensure their rights are upheld and prioritized. While the new regulations have merits, they crucially overlook the fact that thousands of children are in unlicensed shelters contracted by Health and Human Services. As it stands, this omission leaves these children at risk of harm without anyone to look after them. Having listened firsthand to the horror stories of hundreds of children over the past eight years, I shudder to think what will happen when we are gone. The children we represent have all faced tremendous hardships, and we are unwavering in our commitment to fulfill our promise to them.” 

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About Children’s Rights

Every day, children are harmed in America’s child welfare, immigration, juvenile justice, education, and healthcare systems. Through relentless strategic advocacy and legal action, we hold governments accountable for keeping kids safe and healthy. Children’s Rights, a national non-profit organization, has made a lasting impact for hundreds of thousands of vulnerable children. For more information, please visit childrensrights.org.