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Children’s Rights and Leading Children’s Advocacy Organizations Challenge New Regulations for Detaining Families and Children

The United States District Court for the Central District of California ruled today in favor of the Flores plaintiffs.  In her holding, Judge Dolly Gee tracked arguments made in Children’s Rights’ amicus brief, noting severe problems with the administration’s proposed self-licensing and self-oversight scheme for detaining immigrant children. The court found that the sections of the regulations addressing state licensing issues were “patently inconsistent” with the Flores Agreement. While an appeal is likely, the court has blocked the new regulations from going into effect as scheduled on October 22, 2019, and has ensured that the protections enshrined in the Flores Agreement survive and continue to protect vulnerable immigrant children, at least for now.

Read more about the order here.

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Children’s Rights and a coalition of nonprofit children’s advocacy organizations submitted an amicus brief August 30, 2019 challenging the Trump administration’s new regulations that would overturn protections for immigrant children under the Flores Agreement and allow the indefinite detention of children and families.

The brief argues that detention, even with their families, inflicts long-term, irreparable psychological harm on children. In addition, the new regulations would allow the administration to license and conduct oversight over its own facilities and will put children in danger by dispensing with critical safety mechanisms present in state-licensed facilities. For example, the federal government would not be required to conduct thorough investigations of reports of abuse and maltreatment.

Signatories to the brief include several of the most respected nonprofit children’s organizations: Children’s Rights; 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.; Juvenile Law Center; The Children’s Law Center, Inc.; The National Association for 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.

Read the full brief here.

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