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Top Organizations Encourage Appeals Court to Rule Against Trump Administration, End Detention of Migrant Children [


Contact: Nathan Carlile, Head of Firmwide Communications, Arent Fox LLP

On behalf of a coalition of the nation’s leading organizations dedicated to the care, health, education, well-being, and welfare of children and families, Arent Fox LLP filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in support of the Plaintiff in Jenny Lisette Flores, et al., v. William Barr, Attorney General of the United States, et al. Nearly thirty organizations steadfastly oppose the Trump Administration’s new regulations that overturn protections guaranteed to immigrant children under the Flores Settlement Agreement (“FSA”).

“We were pleased with the district court’s decision that the new regulations concerning the placement of minors are not consistent with the Flores Agreement and strongly encourage the Ninth Circuit to uphold that decision,” said Arent Fox Partner David L. Dubrow, lead attorney on the amicus brief. “The Trump Administration’s Final Rule pointedly undermines the FSA. Children and their families should not be endangered by this unjust treatment under the Final Rule and we hope the court will agree.”

Arent Fox Partner, James H. Hulme, added, “I have said from the beginning, we must not allow the Final Rule to move forward under any circumstances. The Final Rule abandons the Flores settlement and puts children at risk. Children and their parents need to be united in our communities while waiting for their court hearing to be finished.”

The FSA, a settlement reached in 1997 in Flores v. Reno, established basic protections to keep immigrant children from harm. Among its requirements, FSA obliges the federal government to treat “all children in its custody with dignity, respect and special concern for their particular vulnerability as children.” The FSA further emphasizes that detained children should be placed “in the least restrictive setting appropriate to the child’s age and special needs . . .” and provides that immigrant children should be released, without unreasonable delay. Critically, the FSA explicitly states that the Administration shall make “prompt and continuous efforts” to promote family reunification, noting that such efforts are to continue as long as the child is in custody.

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