New Trump family detention rule faces legal challenges

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

This week the trump administration unveiled a new regulation that would allow for the indefinite detention of migrant families crossing the border if approved the rule would eliminate a key part of a nineteen ninety seven court settlement that limits the detention of unaccompanied minors to twenty days in federal custody administration officials argue the new rule is necessary to deter mass migration at the border but it's likely to face legal challenges from immigration advocates such as the A. C. L. U. which denounced the move is quote yet another cruel attack on children joining me now to discuss this is university of San Francisco law professor bill on heating and takes you with the immigration editor Taiki interests welcome to both of you so professor hang the new rule it published today what happens next a federal judge has to approve it what's the process no threat so legal papers are being filed as we speak actually challenging the new proposed regulation and the government will respond and judged Dolly G. the the federal judge overseeing the floors case will hear arguments very soon and make a decision on whether or not the regulations are consistent with the floor settlement agreement anti key for people who don't know there is a key court settlement from nineteen ninety seven it's in play here it established this twenty day limit on detaining migrant children can you explain that yeah absolutely so back in the Clinton administration there was this legal settlement that basically said children are vulnerable they're not the same as adults in immigration custody they need to be cared for with sort of child welfare standards in mind so so the settlement favors release of children as quickly as possible keeping them in the least restrictive setting possible and in a facility that's license for child care by the state and it also gave oversight to the plaintiff's attorneys representing the kids to be able to go in and monitor and make sure that conditions were okay so then under the Obama administration or a lot more families coming and they set up these family detention centers that ice immigration and customs enforcement was running and judge she said those are not license for child care that's not an appropriate place for kids it's more of a jail like sending and the government so we need at least twenty days probably to get these kids placed in a proper facility or get them released and she said in the ninth circuit court of appeals a firm to that okay twenty days it would be acceptable if you're moving with you know due diligence and in good faith to put them in a more appropriate situation so that's where that twenty day thing came from in professor hitting what with the elimination of this twenty day limit lead to it will lead to the possibility honestly of indefinite detention because that's like he was saying they can release they they can turn these families over in theory to a state licensed facility but that was the problem that the federal government had there are no state licensed facilities for family detention male children who are alone unaccompanied children they do get turned over to state licensed facilities but not families so that's why the twenty days constricted the government they actually had to release force and they've been releasing many of these families with ankle monitors for example but now the government is proposing that they want to keep them longer because they presumably need more time to take care of of resettlement but the trump administration has admitted that really this is about the turns they want to send a message to migrants that you shouldn't come here because you may end up being in custody for a long time and I want to ask you about that in a second but I wanna dance take you first do you think that these detention centers as they are established now are equipped to Alves families a lot of families for a long time well they're they're about three of these facilities the two biggest ones are in Texas I think they can hold about three thousand people altogether three thousand beds for parents and kids I think I think if they're going to do this indefinite thing they would need more space and you know child advocates say that the detaining children even if their with their parents is is harmful for kids so as professor he said there's yeah I mean the tension isn't required the trump administration says they want to to hold people while their asylum proceedings go forward but those cases can take years and the courts are very backlog so let's get back to this issue of trying to send a message I heard a White House spokesperson basically saying the florist settlement incentivized immigration a family or a family size group shows up at the border knows that they will be detained for twenty days four days and then basically released into the country to await trial there in it's all good their journey has all been worth it is this what you have seen actually you're not and if that were true I wouldn't feel so bad about what's going on but listen at the clinic that we have a diverse census we have over three hundred cases and half of those are family units I went to Honduras in March and spoke with families and we're thinking of leaving and I volunteered at the border in Tijuana and these folks are fleeing because of desperate circumstances they're not coming to visit Disneyland they're fleeing violence Jane cartel and in many cases domestic violence and so in my experience these folks are not coming just for a walk in the park Congress approved four point six billion dollars in emergency humanitarian aid if you're marked funds to improve conditions in immigration detention facilities based in part on what professor hating other immigration attorneys reported seeing at a facility that house to migrant kids mothers and babies Tychy along with removing the limit on detaining migrant families what with this new rule affect the conditions at the facilities where migrant families are being held well I think one of the other big changes that that would happen if the new rule goes into effect in Florida settlement goes away then the oversight that these plaintiffs attorneys on behalf of the children have and that the the federal judge has to make sure that conditions are up to par and are appropriate for kids that oversight goes away the lawyers like professor hang have been able to go inside the facilities and talk to children and and that wouldn't exist anymore and so also without the the requirement that the facilities be licensed for child care by a state like the California you know health and Human Services folks then if the federal government doing its own licensing and there are some concerns that that there's not as much independent oversight of conditions immigration stopping it essentially has been V. banner don't give ground issue for the trump administration do you professor hang see any day light for a compromise a conversation that leads to president trump Democrats immigrant advocates coming together and making some sort of compromise that ratchets down the rhetoric that we hear so often about immigration I wish I could be more hopeful I I in my opinion this is really about trump trying to play to his base he doesn't have to be labeling these migrants and national security risks he actually could be doing what was happening prior to twenty fourteen I'm I'm saying this and in part criticism of president Obama's while the it's become a pejorative term but catcher release worked people were arrested they were taken into detention but they were process very quickly and sent along the way because I snows were folks are going to have names addresses of relatives and there's a very high appearance rates of people were not upstanding and until we recognize the humanitarian nature of really wife people are leaving I don't think that there's going to be room for for negotiation and less that kind of rhetoric is ratcheted down university of San Francisco law professor bill on heating and KQED immigration editor Taiki Hendricks thanks both of you for joining us here thank

Coming up next