A federal judge in California has confirmed a decision made last month that illegal alien children currently held in detention must be released.
The ruling is based on a 1997 settlement where the minors could not be held more than 72 hours unless they posed a flight risk or danger to the community.
Gee gave federal agencies until next Oct. 23 to comply with her order, though the government is expected to appeal the decision, according to the daily Los Angeles Times.
The judge’s ruling comes after an appeal filed weeks ago by the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama, which defended the policy of holding the families of undocumented immigrants in detention centers.
That appeal was in turn a response to a court order last July ordering the release of children in the detention centers of Karnes City and Dilley, both in the state of Texas, and which together have the capacity to hold 2,932 people.
The judge considered that the government had broken the extrajudicial Flores agreement of 1997, stipulating that children should live in the “least restrictive” conditions possible.
The government argued in its appeal that if such a judicial decision were executed, it would eliminate the government’s ability to deport families under any circumstances, which could cause another surge of parents crossing the border with their children. EFE
The difference in the numbers of illegal alien minors in 1997 and today is staggering. There are tens of thousands of children crossing into the country illegally compared to just a few hundred in 1997.
The government would prefer to release the kids to a relative in the US — probably here illegally also — but it is a time consuming process and the numbers of minors flooding over the border are increasing.
Ideally, immigration judges should be hearing these cases almost immediately and deportation should follow shortly thereafter. But the docket for all immigration judges is jammed up for years, making it more likely these kids will see the inside of Donald Trump’s mansion than their home country again.
I don’t know how much more incentive Central American parents need to send their kids here. We’ve already rolled out the red carpet and are placing tens of thousands of them in communities all across the country. We’re even flying them here so they don’t have to run the gauntlet of coyotes and human traffickers in Mexico.
Until an administration takes office that is serious about border security, the problem is only going to get worse.