HomeLatest NewsFederal Judge Orders Immediate Safe Shelter for Illegal Minors in DHS Custody

Federal Judge Orders Immediate Safe Shelter for Illegal Minors in DHS Custody

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In a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of the minors, a new federal court decision handed down Wednesday evening aims to force the Biden administration’s Department of Homeland Security to take responsibility for the proper care of illegal immigrants trying to cross the Southern border.

Washington Post:

A Federal District Court Judge ruled on Wednesday night that the federal government must “expeditiously house” migrant kids who enter the United States illegally. They cannot be left in open-air areas along the border.

The judge of the United States District Court of Central California handed down a decision that sided primarily with the lawyers who represented the children in the class-action suit. The decision established that the Department of Homeland Security had legal custody of minors on the sites and was entitled to certain protections and rights, including a safe, sanitary environment.

The following is more information on the Judge’s Order:

The 12-page order stated that “the ability to exercise discretion and make decisions regarding a child’s welfare and health is indicative of maintaining custody, regardless of if the decision is to give or withhold care.” “Juveniles are always under some form of custody, unlike adults.”

Judge Gee refused the lawyers’ request to set a time limit on how long minors can be held in the facilities. However, she said that the Department of Homeland Security must process all minors “expeditiously,” and place them in safe, sanitary, and “consistent” with D.H.S.’s concern about the vulnerability of minors.

She stated that Border Patrol agents must cease directing minors towards the sites or retaining them there “except the time D.H.S. She said that Border Patrol officers must stop directing minors to the sites or holding them in the sites “except for the amount of time D.H.S.

The case revolves around “whether or not children who crossed the Southern Border, alone or with families, were under the federal government’s responsibility while they remained outside waiting to surrender to U.S. borders authorities.”

The lawyers representing the minors claimed that terms of the 1997 consent degree regarding “housing” and “services” should be applied and enforced.

Lawyers who represented the children argued they should receive housing and services as part of a 1997 agreement known as the Flores Settlement Agreement. The agreement set standards for the treatment of immigrant children held by the government. It stipulated that the children be provided with necessities like food, toilets, drinking water, and housed in facilities licensed to care for child welfare children. In February, the lawyers filed a petition to enforce these terms on children in open-air locations.

The Justice Department attorneys countered by saying that the children were not technically in border patrol custody.

Lawyers for the Department of Justice responded that they weren’t obligated to offer this service because the children hadn’t been taken into custody formally by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The encampments’ conditions were not disputed.

“C.B.P. has been apprehending and transporting minors to safe and sanitary U.S. Border Patrol facilities in a prompt manner,” the defense lawyers wrote. “But until that occurs, plaintiffs are not in D.H.S. custody,” they said.

The full decision can be read here.

This story is still developing. As new information becomes available, we will keep you updated.

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