Immigration

ICE Ends Family Detention

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

Elections have consequences.

The Trump regime fought a years-long court battle to expand the detention of migrant families who cross the border illegally, but the Department of Homeland Security is going in the other direction under President Biden. They're effectively ending family detention by always releasing families together within days.

ICE's disclosure, made in the Flores lawsuit brought more than a decade ago on behalf of immigrant children, effectively suggests that the agency is ending family detention, a policy started under the Obama administration in 2014.

The Trump administration sought to expand family detention by holding families over 20 days, the limit imposed by the judge in the Flores case.

As of Friday, only 13 families remained in ICE detention, and seven had been scheduled for release that day. The remaining six families are scheduled to be released March 7 unless they test positive for Covid-19, in which case they will be required to remain for a quarantine period before they are released.

The reason why the indefinite detention of migrant children exploded under Trump -- the reason why they were ripped from their families in the first place -- is because the Trump regime sought to prosecute every single illegal border crossing and hold every border crosser in detention while awaiting trial. But holding families for longer than 20 days is illegal and that prompted the regime to separate kids from their families so they can be held for longer than 20 days but in separate locations.

They knew that would happen, but it was also the whole point. It was a feature, not a bug. They wanted to intimidate other families from crossing the border together.

Children and minors who cross the border alone without a parent or guardian will be still be held in shelters or temporary housing under the Biden administration because that is the government's responsibility, but no more families will be separated.

Biden nominated and confirmed a foreign-born immigrant, Alejandro Mayorkas, to lead the Department of Homeland Security and this is why that matters.