Washington Watch

Posted on: July 23rd, 2018
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Federal Judge Denies Trump Administration Request to Hold Immigrant Children in Long-Term Detention

District Court Judge Dolly Gee dismissed the Trump administration’s request for long-term detainment of illegal immigrant children, describing the administration’s proposal as “dubious” and “unconvincing.” Following an outpour of public dissent over the government’s policy of separating children from parents who illegally entered the country, the U.S. Justice Department initiated its request in June 2018. A recent judicial decision ordered the reunification of those families which led to the Justice Department proposing a modification to the 1997 Flores Agreement which prohibits the long-term detention of children. The government asserted that the ruling which ordered the government to reunite families necessitated the long-term detention of children, since this presented the only avenue by which the government could both reunite the families and keep the parents incarcerated during their immigration proceedings. This position was found to be unsubstantiated by Judge Gee, who described the government’s interpretation of the Flores agreement as, “tortured” in her decision. U.S. Justice Department spokesman Devin O’Malley expressed the administration’s disagreement with the ruling and reiterated its stance on the “catch-and release” policy, the common practice of previous administrations to release families apprehended at the border to live freely in the Untied States during the processing of their immigration claims. Asserting the administration’s unwillingness to release the families, O’Malley laid out the administration’s two options for families apprehended at the border. According to O’Malley, families will either remain together in family custody pending immigration proceedings, or the parents will request separation from their children, placing them in the custody of a sponsor.

For more information, view the full article from Reuters.

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U.S. District Judge Rules California Immigration Law Does Not Violate Constitution

U.S. District Court Judge John Mendez ruled against the U.S. government, asserting that the U.S. Constitution did not authorize the federal government pre-eminent power over a state’s right to regulate immigration. Judge Mendez ruled in favor of California’s right to pass legislation protecting immigrants who are in the country illegally, commonly referred to as sanctuary laws. The ruling discredited the government’s assertion that two of the three laws would allow California to obstruct federal immigration efforts.

Mendez’s rulings will grant California the right to continue placing limitations on police cooperation with federal immigration officials and to continue requiring inspections at detention facilities. Mendez did block the third aspect of California’s sanctuary law, thus permitting employers to allow immigration officers on their property even if the officers do not have warrants.

Supporting his ruling, Mendez stated that the limitations California placed upon cooperation with federal immigration efforts, “does not directly conflict,” with federal law. Mendez also concluded that nothing in the federal statutes indicated that states should not have oversight of detention facilities operating inside their borders. The law, according to Mendez, did not grant California any authority in determining an immigrant’s detainment or removability, nor did it impose any substantial requirements save for merely providing the state with access to facilities.

For more information, view the full article from the AP.

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