According to a court ruling, the US authorities will not allow indigent migrants to remain in custody indefinitely during the review of their asylum applications. Federal Judge Dolly Gee banned the plans of US President Donald Trump's government on Friday (local time) in Los Angeles.
Gee referred to the so-called Flores Agreement. Accordingly, minors may only be detained for 20 days after they have been declared illegal. This agreement could not simply "ignore" the government, the judge ruled.
The blessing or the curse - depending on the particular point of view - of a binding contract is its security, "Gee emphasized, saying the government can not simply ignore the provisions of the Flores Agreement, which was signed 22 years ago," simply because it uses its approach for political reasons no longer agrees ".
Instead of obtaining a change in the legal situation in Congress, the government has simply passed regulations that contradict the Flores Agreement. "This violates the rule of law, and that can not be allowed," Judge Gee said.
More than 2300 children separated from their parents at the US border
In the presidential campaign of 2016, the fight against illegal immigration was one of Trump's key promises. In 2018 he ordered a "zero tolerance" strategy. More than 2,300 children of illegal immigrants were separated from their parents at the US border. After a wave of indignation in the United States, the government moved away from this practice.
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To date, the restriction of immigration is one of Trump's main domestic policy goals. Only the previous day, the government had lowered the annual ceiling for new refugees to a low.
Trump's immigration policy is repeatedly challenged in court. Against his departure from the Flores Agreement, an alliance of 20 US states had filed suit. Human rights organizations had also threatened to file lawsuits.
Government "disappointed" about the court decision
The US Department of Justice reacted "disappointed" to the court ruling. The Flores Agreement is "outdated" and the Department of Justice will continue to work "to restore the integrity of our immigration system," it said. The government is expected to appeal.
The government argues that the new regime will allow for humane detention conditions for families while deciding on their immigration applications. The previous law, on the other hand, offers loopholes that encourage a growing number of families, mostly from Central American countries, to apply for asylum in the USA.
The new regulation would allow authorities to keep immigrant families indefinitely for the duration of their asylum procedures, which may take months or even years due to the large number of cases accumulated. It should come into force next month.