September 19, 2018
The Flores settlement followed nearly a decade of litigation challenging the poor and dangerous conditions in which children were held at length. The agreement sets forth national standards for the treatment of all children in federal immigration custody, prioritizes the release of children from detention to care in the community, and is consistent with international and domestic child welfare law.
On September 7, 2018, the federal government released proposed regulations with the goal of terminating the Flores settlement to expand its ability to detain children for longer periods in family detention facilities and to lessen the standards it is required to meet in detaining unaccompanied children. This is how proposed regulations mark a dramatic shift away from the terms of Flores and its focus on the best interests of children.