Federal Judge Rejects Trump Administration Request to Extend Migrant Child Detentions

A federal judge has rejected the Trump administration’s request to amend the 1997 Flores consent decree, which states that no immigrant child may be detained for more than 20 days. Politico reports that U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee called the administration’s legal argument “tortured” as it attempted to permit long-term detention of children with their parents. “It is apparent that Defendants’ Application is a cynical attempt... to shift responsibility to the Judiciary for over 20 years of Congressional inaction and ill-considered Executive action that have led to the current stalemate,” she wrote. Gee’s decision stated that parents may keep their children in detention with them if they consent, but the otherwise U.S. would have to release children. The Justice Department’s request came after a backlash over the family separation policy, and as the administration insists that the “zero-tolerance” policy along the border is still in effect despite the U.S. now keeping families together.