States Sue Over Rollback of Child Immigrant Protections - NBC 7 San Diego
Immigration in America

Immigration in America

Full coverage of immigration issues in the U.S.

States Sue Over Rollback of Child Immigrant Protections

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said last week it would create new regulations on how migrant children are treated

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    California AG Explains Why So Many Lawsuits

    (Published Monday, Aug. 26, 2019)

    Nineteen states and the District of Columbia sued on Monday over the Trump administration's effort to alter a federal agreement that limits how long immigrant children can be kept in detention.

    "We wish to protect children from irreparable harm," California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said as he announced the lawsuit he is co-leading with Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. Both are Democrats.

    A 1997 agreement known as the Flores settlement says immigrant children must be kept in the least restrictive setting and generally shouldn't spend more than 20 days in detention.

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said last week it would create new regulations on how migrant children are treated. The administration wants to remove court oversight and allow families in detention longer than 20 days. About 475,000 families have crossed the border so far this budget year, nearly three times the previous full-year record for families.

    Key Quotes From Democratic Debate

    [NATL] Key Quotes From Democratic Debate

    See some of the key quotes from the Democratic debate in Houston, Texas.

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019)

    A judge must OK the Trump administration's proposed changes in order to end the agreement, and a legal battle is expected from the case's original lawyers.

    It's not likely that U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee would approve the changes; it was her ruling in 2015 that extended the application of the Flores agreement to include children who came with families. She ordered the Obama administration to release children as quickly as possible.

    Still, Becerra argued California has a role to play in the case because the state is home to so many immigrants.

    "The federal government doesn't have a right to tell us how we provide for the well-being of people in our state," he said.

    California receives the most unaccompanied minors of any state in the U.S., with an average of 6,000 to 7,000 minors per year arriving into our state.

    Those minors may be placed in other facilities throughout the country. 

    Is Andrew Yang's $1,000 Per Month Contest Legal?

    [NATL] Is Andrew Yang's $1,000 Per Month Contest Legal?

    Entrepreneur Andrew Yang made headlines at the Democratic debate on Thursday when he announced he would be selecting 10 people to whom his campaign will give $1,000 per month for a year. But was he violating campaign finance laws? We spoke with Loyola Law School professor Jessica Levinson to get her take

    (Published Friday, Sept. 13, 2019)

    Currently, unaccompanied minors in California are placed in foster family homes licensed by the state.

    California does not have any detention centers that house migrant families. The Trump administration argued that because no states license federal detention centers, they wanted to create their own set of standards in order to satisfy the judge's requirements that the facilities are licensed.

    They said they will be audited, and the audits made public. But the Flores attorneys are concerned that they will no longer be able to inspect the facilities, and that careful state licensing requirements will be eschewed.

    Becerra echoed that argument, saying that removing state authority over licensing centers could allow the federal government to place centers in California or other states that don't meet basic standards of care.

    Attorney General Bob Ferguson of Washington, also a Democrat, said prolonged detention will have long-term impacts on the mental and physical health of immigrant children and families.

    "When we welcome those children into our communities, state-run programs and services bear the burden of the long-term impact of the trauma those children endured in detention," he said.

    Julián Castro on Fiery Exchange With Joe Biden: This Is Not About Personality

    [NATL] Julián Castro on Fiery Exchange With Joe Biden: This Is Not About Personality

    Former Secretary of Housing Julián Castro says he wasn't calling out former Vice President Joe Biden for his age when he accused Biden of "forgetting" his own comments about healthcare during the Democratic debate in Houston, Texas, on Thursday.

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019)

    California on Monday also sought to halt a Trump administration effort that could deny green cards to immigrants using public benefits.

    Other states joining the lawsuit are Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

    Associated Press journalists Colleen Long and Rachel La Corte contributed to this report.