May 31, 2024

Flores v. Reno

Filing date
Case number
Case type
Class Action
Case jurisdiction
U.S. District Courts
Central District of California Western Division

NCYL and co-counsel filed Flores v. Reno in 1985 to address the egregious harms  immigrant children in federal custody faced. The case was settled in 1997 and remains under the supervision of U.S. District Judge Dolly M. Gee in the Central District of California. 

The Flores Settlement Agreement establishes national minimum 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 Settlement establishes a policy favoring the release of youth. With limited exceptions, the Settlement requires the government to place unaccompanied children in non-secure facilities that are state-licensed to care for dependent children. It also requires that children who remain in federal custody be placed in the least restrictive environment and mandates provision of certain services. 

Since 1997, NCYL and co-counsel have filed numerous motions to enforce the Settlement in response to the government’s egregious violations of its terms.