August 22, 2015
Judge Dolly Gee ruled that children should not be held for more than 72 hours unless they are a significant flight risk or a danger to themselves and others. Federal officials have until October 23 to comply.
Federal attorneys had argued that a previous ruling would encourage a surge of illegal immigration. They also said that conditions at detention facilities had improved. The 1997 Flores case set legal requirements for the conditions of detention for children seeking asylum or entering illegally.
Families could continue to be detained as the case could be appealed.
Peter Schey, president of the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, said that immigrant children would now be protected “from lengthy and entirely senseless detention by the Department of Homeland Security in unsafe adult lockdown facilities run by private corporations raking in millions of dollars in profits. [Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson’s policy] over the past year has caused thousands of innocent children to needlessly suffer severe psychological and often physical harm.”
Organizations mentioned/involved: Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law