Immigrant Children Ordered Released
In a rebuke of the federal government's position that a prior consent decree (the Agreement) prohibiting the incarceration of unaccompanied minors in unsafe or secured facilities (detention centers) did not apply to accompanied minors crossing the US Mexico border with their parents, in last summer's refugee crisis, Federal District Court Judge Dolly M. Gee ordered the government to show cause, within ninety (90) days, why the remedies she concludes are needed to protect the well being of incarcerated accompanied minors (class members) held by ICE and the US Border Patrol, should not be imposed. In Jenny L. Flores, et al. v. Jeh Johnson, et al. decided July 24, 2015, Judge Gee grants the plaintiffs motion to enforce the Agreement as to class members and denies the government's motion to amend the Agreement. In her order, Judge Gee would further require the defendant federal government to comply with the following remedies:
1. Make and record prompt and continuous efforts toward family reunification and the release of minors under the Agreement.
2. Comply with the Agreement by releasing class members without unnecessary delay in first order of preference to a parent, including a parent who either was apprehended with the child minor or presented herself or himself with a class member.
3. Prohibit the detention of class members in unlicensed or secure facilities that do not meet the requirements of the Settlement.
4. Release of a class member's accompanying parent with the class member in a non-discriminatory manner in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
5. Propose standards within ninety (90) days, and procedures for monitoring compliance with such standards, for detaining class members in facilities that are safe and sanitary.
6. Monitor compliance and provide Class Counsel monthly statistical information pursuant to the Agreement.
To see the NY Times July 25th article covering the story and download the court's decision click: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/07/26/us/detained-immigrant-children-judge-dolly-gee-ruling.html. The joint report by Justice Strategies and Grassroots Leadership, For-Profit Family Detention, detailing the work of the private prison corporations making huge profits detaining immigrant refugee families can be downloaded below.