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Congressional Hispanic Caucus Response to Trump Administration Move to Undermine Flores Protections for Vulnerable Children

Aug 21, 2019
Press Release
The Flores agreement sets minimum standards for the detention, release, and treatment of immigrant children

SAN ANTONIO Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, released the following statement on the Trump Administration’s announcement that it will publish a new regulation on Friday that will undermine the Flores Settlement Agreement, which currently requires that the government hold children in the least restrictive setting and generally release children within 20 days:

“I’ve seen with my own eyes how this Administration treats migrant families. I’ve met families who have been overcrowded, denied food and water, showers, and a place to sleep. I have spoken with children that have been detained in prisons-like shelters for months at a time. Through everything they have already done, this Administration has proven that they cannot be trusted to care for these families.

“Now, President Trump and his Administration are doubling down on their cruel agenda by undermining the Flores Settlement in order to indefinitely imprison families and roll back independent oversight. They’re punishing vulnerable families as if they are criminals, when they’re asylum seekers fleeing violence, gangs, rape, and murder. The Administration is trying to inflict enough cruelty on these families to stop them from coming, regardless of the irreparable harm that will be done to innocent children and babies.

“Flores is not a loophole – it’s an agreement with two decades of precedent written to protect toddlers, children, and teenagers from being held in dangerous conditions. Pediatricians and child welfare experts have already stood up against family detention due to the psychological trauma and physical harm inflicted while in custody. We must listen to the experts and uphold Flores to protect the rights, dignity, and humanity of children. For the sake of thousands of immigrant families, the courts must halt this policy before it ever goes into practice.”

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The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), founded in December 1976, is organized as a Congressional Member organization, governed under the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives. The CHC is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S. Territories.