Los Angeles, CA – For the past two decades the Flores Agreement, a court settlement that limited the length of time children may be held in detention centers to 20 days, has protected minors from the inhumane practice of extended detainment of migrant children.

Since the spring of last year, however, the Administration has callously set its sights on dismantling this important legal protection, launching the widely condemned practice of family separation as part of a sinister attempt to build public support for holding families together – in detention prisons – with limited access to proper nutrition and health care, and without due process.

Cynthia Buiza, Executive Director of the California Immigrant Policy Center, issued the following statement:

“Once again we are incredibly appalled that the Trump Administration continues to find new and increasingly cruel ways to harm immigrant communities. While the focus should be on pursuing humane and inclusive policies that provide an avenue for migrants to safely enter the country and be included in the fabric of daily life, including having opportunities to thrive and ensure their health and safety, this administration now seeks to potentially hold migrants in facilities under squalid conditions for months and perhaps even years.

Family detention is an abhorrent practice that has rightly been subject to widespread criticism and condemnation. Let’s not forget that in addition to limiting the length of time in detention, the settlement also provides important oversight protections, ensuring that legal monitors have access to facilities where migrant children are being held. In addition to causing suffering and trauma for thousands of children, the Administration also wants to conduct these abuses in the dark, without the potential for public scrutiny and oversight.

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