National Center for Youth Law

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Flores v. Reno

The 1997 settlement agreement in Flores v. Reno set national standards for the treatment and placement of minors in what was then Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) custody. INS obligations under the agreement are now the responsibility of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). The agreement establishes minimum standards for initial detention and a policy favoring release of minors. It also requires that children who remain in federal custody be placed in the least restrictive environment and mandates provision of information, treatment and services.

For information about the Government’s detention of children in motels in violation of the Flores Settlement Agreement, click here

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Overview

The settlement calls on Federal authorities to treat “all minors with dignity, respect and special concern for their particular vulnerability as minors. The agreement establishes minimum standards for initial detention and a policy favoring release of minors. It also requires that children who remain in federal custody be placed in the least restrictive environment and mandates provision of information, treatment and services.

Press Coverage

Documents

Response to ORR Juvenile Coordinator Report - June 2021

9th Circuit Opinion re: Title 42 - June 2021

9th Circuit Opinion - December 2020

Youthlaw News Articles