National Center for Youth Law

At the Center

Statement on the proposed regulations to implement the Flores Settlement
Jesse Hahnel, Executive Director

The Trump Administration’s shameful disregard for the welfare of immigrant children is once again on full display with the publication of proposed regulations purporting to implement the Flores Settlement agreement. Through these regulations, the Administration is trying to strip away existing protections in order to facilitate long-term imprisonment of children in facilities with well-documented abusive conditions.

The Flores settlement which has been in place for more than 20 years, was an acknowledgement by the U.S. government that children are harmed by detention and the highest priority should be on finding ways to place them in communities with families and other caring adults. The proposed regulations turn Flores on its head, preferencing detention over release. This will only worsen what is already another sorry chapter in the government’s historic mistreatment of children of color and will most certainly lead to the mass internment of children.