Judge Rejects Trump's Bid For Long-Term Detention of Migrant Families

Judge rejects Trump request to allow migrant children to be detained for longer than 20 days | TheHill

A federal judge in Los Angeles on Monday flatly rejected the Justice Department's attempt to modify a decades-old settlement agreement that limits the length of time and conditions under which USA officials may detain immigrant children.

U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee said the federal government had failed to present new evidence to support revising a court order that limits detaining children who crossed the border illegally for extended periods.

The government asked Gee to suspend the Flores settlement's requirement that immigrant children be held only in facilities that meet state child welfare licensing regulations, so as to allow whole families to be detained together.

Three years ago, Gee rejected a similar effort by the Obama administration. "That's the solution", Trump told reporters at the White House a day after a US federal judge rejected long-term detention of illegal immigrant children.

But Trump had to reverse course in the face of national, bipartisan outrage.

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The Justice Department had no immediate comment on the ruling.

"Parents who cross the border will not be released and must choose between remaining in family custody with their children pending immigration proceedings or requesting separation from their children so the child may be placed with a sponsor", he said. "President Trump needs to take responsibility for his own misguided policies".

Justice Department lawyer Sarah Fabian said 54 of the 100 or so infants and toddlers covered by the order would be reunited on time.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday pushed back against court rulings against his administration's migrant detention policies, saying immigrants should not come to the United States illegally.

Associated Press writer Elliot Spagat contributed to this story from San Diego.

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