CLOSINGS: View Closings

Trump administration to allow longer detention of migrant families

The Trump administration announced plans that could hold undocumented families detained together indefinitely, replacing the agreement that set a 20-day limit for holding children.

Posted: Aug 21, 2019 12:04 PM
Updated: Aug 21, 2019 6:00 PM


The Trump administration on Wednesday announced a proposal to detain undocumented families together indefinitely, replacing the agreement that set a 20-day limit for holding children, with President Donald Trump saying it would discourage migrants from coming to the US.

The rule, unveiled by acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, is part of the administration's aggressive effort to revamp immigration laws as the number of families and unaccompanied minors crossing the US-Mexico border has increased.

In recent months, the administration has proposed rules that could make it more difficult for immigrants to get green cards, worked to end temporary protected status for migrants from certain countries and limit avenues to declare asylum.

Trump said Wednesday that he's concerned about the number of undocumented children attempting to travel into the United States, arguing the new rule would keep families together.

'I have the children on my mind. It bothers me very greatly,' Trump said.

Trump also reasserted his false claim that President Barack Obama was the person responsible for family separations, although it was the Trump administration's 'zero-tolerance' policy which led to thousands of children being separated from their parents after crossing the border illegally.

'I'm the one that kept the families together. With what we're doing now, we'll do even more of that, but it will make it almost impossible for people to come into our country illegally,' Trump said at the White House.

Under what is known as the Flores settlement, the government is required to release a minor from a non-licensed facility as expeditiously as possible, which has been set at 20 days.

'By closing this key loophole in Flores, the new rule will restore integrity to our immigration system and eliminate the major pull factor fueling the crisis,' McAleenan said at a news conference Wednesday.

The proposal would give the government new licensing authority, allowing the use of either a state license or Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention standards, according to a DHS official, meaning families can be kept longer than 20 days.

Lawsuits and Democratic opposition

The regulation is certain to face legal challenges and must also be examined by the judge who oversees the Flores settlement. It will take effect 60 days after it is formally published later this week.

'This is yet another cruel attack on children, who the Trump administration has targeted again and again with its anti-immigrant policies,' said Madhuri Grewal, policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. 'The government should not be jailing kids, and certainly shouldn't be seeking to put more kids in jail for longer.'

Democratic lawmakers blasted the proposal, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer saying, 'the cruelty of the Trump administration knows no bounds.'

'Make no mistake: this new rule is about letting President Trump and Stephen Miller keep children in awful conditions for longer periods of time and continue the administration's horrid treatment of innocent migrant families fleeing unthinkable hardship,' said Schumer in a statement.

Democratic presidential contender Beto O'Rourke tweeted that the President's 'solution' to children separated from parents, deaths in custody and sleeping on concrete floors, is 'to cage them for longer.'

'The cruelty will only get worse -- until we end it,' he tweeted in part.

Family residential centers

Responding to questions about when the new rule will be rolled out, McAleenan acknowledged that the administration will likely face litigation before adding that they hope to implement it as soon as possible which could mean eliminating the Flores settlement agreement.

'We are not going to be detaining every family unit that arrives starting tomorrow,' McAleenan said.

McAleenan said that there are three family residential centers with what he described as 'campus-like settings' with medical, educational and private housing facilities. The acting secretary said that detained families will have access to indoor and outdoor entertainment, legal counsel, translation services and medical care -- including any immunizations their children might need for later admission to US public schools.

'The facilities that we will be using to temporarily house families under this rule are appropriately, fundamentally different than the facilities where migrants are processed following apprehension or encounter at the border,' McAleenan said.

There has been a major influx of families and children apprehended at the southern border in recent months. Already this year, more than 430,000 family members have been arrested for crossing the southern border illegally, compared to around 100,000 for all of last year.

This story has been updated.

West Lafayette
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 82°
Kokomo
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 79°
Rensselaer
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 79°
Fowler
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 79°
Williamsport
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 82°
Crawfordsville
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 82°
Frankfort
Scattered Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 83°
Delphi
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 81°
Monticello
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 81°
Logansport
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 79°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 45952

Reported Deaths: 2650
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11387679
Lake4872240
Elkhart308543
Allen2677114
St. Joseph184965
Cass16369
Hamilton1484100
Hendricks136699
Johnson1235118
Porter68537
Madison64363
Tippecanoe6408
Clark62244
Bartholomew57844
Howard54356
LaPorte53925
Kosciusko4952
LaGrange4596
Jackson4553
Noble44728
Vanderburgh4306
Hancock42935
Delaware42648
Boone42242
Shelby41625
Marshall4123
Floyd36344
Morgan32031
Montgomery28720
Grant28526
Clinton2792
Dubois2606
White25810
Monroe25628
Decatur24632
Henry23515
Lawrence23124
Vigo2248
Harrison20822
Dearborn20422
Warrick20129
Greene18431
Miami1802
Jennings16911
Putnam1658
DeKalb1594
Scott1547
Daviess13916
Orange13323
Wayne1286
Franklin1248
Steuben1232
Perry1209
Ripley1127
Carroll1092
Jasper1092
Wabash1072
Fayette967
Newton9510
Whitley814
Randolph764
Starke733
Huntington702
Wells681
Jay670
Fulton661
Jefferson651
Washington641
Pulaski631
Knox620
Clay594
Rush573
Benton480
Adams451
Owen451
Gibson442
Sullivan441
Brown381
Blackford372
Posey350
Spencer311
Tipton301
Crawford290
Fountain292
Switzerland250
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Warren141
Union130
Vermillion130
Pike80
Unassigned0194

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events