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Children’s Rights Files Amicus Brief to Uphold Protections for Migrant Children in U.S. Custody

Contact: Daniel Kessel, 646-216-3343, dkessel@childrensrights.org

(New York, NY) – Yesterday Children’s Rights filed an with eight other leading child welfare organizations before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in opposition to the Trump administration’s proposed regulations that would allow children to be detained indefinitely and would abolish detention facility standards and other protections for migrant children provided by the 1993 Flores agreement.

The brief argues that the new regulations violate legal requirements from the Flores agreement and would increase the irreparable psychological harm that detention inflicts on children, even when they are detained with their families. The brief also highlights how the new regulations would allow the Trump administration to license and conduct oversight over its own facilities rather than requiring facilities be licensed by states, which puts children in danger by dispensing with critical safety mechanisms present in state-licensed facilities.

“In continuing to fight established legal precedent on the humane treatment of children in migrant detention facilities, the Trump administration threatens to put these children at even greater risk of harm while they are detained,” said Christina Remlin, Lead Counsel at Children’s Rights. “Rigorous state licensing requirements in line with the Flores agreement cannot be treated as optional because allowing facilities to “self-license” puts children in danger.”

In addition to Children’s Rights, signatories to the brief include The Center for the Study of Social Policy, The Center for Children & Youth Justice, The Center on Children and Families, The Children’s Advocacy Institute, First Star, Inc., the Juvenile Law Center, The Children’s Law Center, and the National Association of Counsel For Children. The law firm of Chapman and Cutler LLP is serving as pro bono counsel to Children’s Rights in connection with its challenge to the regulations and drafted the brief. Children’s Rights and partner organizations previously submitted an amicus brief in Flores v. Barr to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in August of 2019.


About Children’s Rights: Every day, children are harmed in America’s broken child welfare, 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 www.childrensrights.org.