In California, a federal judge ordered the government to release immigrant
children being held in family detention centers with their mothers when
possible, and without unnecessary delays.
In a filing on Aug. 21, California U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee refused
to reconsider the government’s request, which asked her to reconsider
the ruling that she made in late July.
In July’s ruling, she said that children who were being held in family
detention centers after crossing the US-Mexican border illegally must
be quickly released.
She called the government’s latest arguments “repackaged and
reheated.” She said that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
was in breach of a longstanding agreement that said that immigrant children
are not to be held in unlicensed secured facilities.
She gave the agency until October 23 to comply with her order.
Homeland Security’s attorneys asked the judge to reconsider her ruling,
arguing that the agency was doing its best to move the families out of
detention as fast as possible. The lawyers also said that the facilities
were converted to short-term processing centers.
This marks the second time that Gee ruled that detaining children violates
a 1997 settlement, which requires that minors are placed with a family
member or in non-secure custody within five days.
However, when there is a large influx of children, it can take longer.
Still, children must be released as fast as possible under the law.
In Gee’s order, she said that
immigration officials routinely failed to proceed as expeditiously as possible to
place the accompanied minors, and that in some cases, they still may be
dragging their feet.
According to Peter Schey, the executive director of the Center for Human
Rights and Constitutional Law, the court’s order will protect refugee
children and their mothers from lengthy and senseless detentions.
After thousands of immigrants crossed the Rio Grande into the U.S., the
government poured millions into two large detention centers in Karnes
City and Dilley. These Texas detention centers are run by private prison
Many of these immigrants are mothers and children who are petitioning for
asylum after escaping domestic and gang violence in their home countries.
Do you or a family member need legal advice regarding an immigration matter?
Plano immigration lawyer from The Zendeh Del Law Firm for the help you need.