Back to News

LFC Strongly Opposes Proposal to Detain Immigrant Children Indefinitely, Citing National Child Welfare Standards

On November 6, Lawyers For Children submitted public comments strongly urging the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Health & Human Services (HHS) to abide by the longstanding Flores Settlement Agreement that prevents immigrant children from being unnecessarily detained and maintain policies that protect immigrant children in federal custody.

The comments are in response to the Trump Administration’s proposed regulations announced in September that would effectively allow the government to detain immigrant children indefinitely. This shift in policy comes after a federal court halted the Trump Administration’s zero-tolerance family separation policy, citing an amicus brief LFC joined which described the harm on children within the context of U.S. child welfare laws.

In its comments, Lawyers For Children made clear that the detention of children “has significant consequences for children’s development, health, safety and well-being.” Moreover, the new regulations would “run afoul of fundamental constitutional principles.” LFC also urged HHS, which oversees the country’s child welfare system to “ensure that nationally accepted child welfare standards are applied to children in HHS and DHS care.”

Instead of detention, Lawyers For Children advocates for legally appropriate alternatives, such as the Family Case Management system, which have been proven to work and are far less costly both to children and the American taxpayer.

Read Lawyers For Children’s full comments