ORR, DHS, ICE And Border Authorities [Again!] Ordered To Stop Ignoring Children’s Rights — And In Most Cases — Release Them.

As we’ve long held, the Trump minions have openly dragged their feet, in complying with existing well-settled black letter law, related to children, arriving at our southern border. This is disgusting — abd overnight, in yet another order — in the 1985-era Flores class litigation has so held.

Here it is — from a very well-reasoned 21 page PDF order, just entered by USDC Judge Gee, in LA:

. . . .[T]he issue is whether Plaintiffs have shown by a preponderance of the evidence that
under any of the challenged policies, ORR has failed to release minors without unnecessary delay. Previously, the Court found that ORR policies caused unnecessary delay and violated Paragraphs 14 and 18 of the FSA where the policies (1) were not required by the FSA or TVPRA, (2) were not deemed necessary in analogous state child welfare contexts, and/or (3) were blanket bans or blocks to release that failed to take Class Members’ individualized circumstances into account. See Flores v. Sessions, 2018 WL 10162328, at *21. . . .

Using this framework, the Court turns to Plaintiffs’ arguments and evidence that the following ORR policies have resulted in unnecessary delay in releasing Class Members: (1) the late March blanket ban on releasing all minors to sponsors in New York, California, and Washington; (2) ORR’s policies delaying the release of minors who have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 or whose sponsor’s household has a confirmed case of COVID-19; (3) fingerprinting and home study requirements that are difficult or impossible to satisfy during the pandemic; and (4) ORR’s collaboration with ICE to bar release or reunification progress for minors with orders of removal under the MPP. . . .

While the Court appreciates that ICE has released many Class Members in its custody in recent months, the lack of individualized records regarding the Class Members remaining in its custody serves as circumstantial evidence of unnecessary delay and failure to make and record prompt and continuous efforts at release as to those Class Members in custody more than 20 days. . . .

T[oday I order] additional monitoring and interim reports by Aurora Miranda-Maese, the ORR Juvenile Coordinator [reports which] shall cover the following topics, among others chosen by her: . . .Measures taken to expedite the release of Class Members to suitable custodians during the COVID-19 health emergency, including the status of fingerprinting and home study policies and practices, in compliance with this Order, and provide census data as to any minors who remain in custody due to lack of fingerprinting or home studies. . . .

With respect to minors in an ICE facility in which either a detainee or staff member has tested positive for COVID-19 [ORR hall in writing] identify the specific reason the minors located there have not been released or transferred to a non-congregate setting. . . .

Onward, under warm but rainy skies. . . smiling. . . .


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