Flores Class Counsel Has Tonight Completely BURIED Sarah Fabian’s Dissembling Claims Of Last Night…

Do go read all of it.

No comment needed — other than this is what real lawyers. . . do: they lawyer. Against (in this case) an inability to read, for comprehension / or, less charitably, lying — by a DoJ political appointee hack.

. . . .First, whether children detained for prolonged periods in hotels are in the legal custody of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) or the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) is irrelevant. The Settlement protects “all minors who are detained in the legal custody of the INS,” and binds the INS and Department of Justice, as well as “their agents, employees, contractors, and/or successors in office.” Settlement ¶¶ 1, 10 (emphasis added). The Homeland Security Act of 2002, Pub. L. 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135, codified in pertinent part at 6 U.S.C. § 279 (“HSA”), transferred responsibility for “the care of unaccompanied alien children” to “the Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement of the Department of Health and Human Services. . . .” Had Congress stopped there Defendants’ argument would at least be plausible. But it did not. . . .

Congress provided that “the care and custody of all unaccompanied alien children, including responsibility for their detention, where appropriate, shall be the responsibility of the Secretary of Health and Human Services.” 8 U.S.C. § 1232(b)(1) (emphasis added). The statute specifically references the Secretary’s responsibility for a child’s placement and release. See, e.g., § 1232(c)(2)(A) (“Subject to section 279(b)(2) of Title 6, an unaccompanied alien child in the custody of the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall be promptly placed in the least restrictive setting that is in the best interest of the child.”) (emphasis added); § 1232(c)(3)(A) (“[A]n unaccompanied alien child may not be placed with a person or entity unless the Secretary of Health and Human Services makes a determination that the proposed custodian is capable of providing for the child’s physical and mental well-being.”); § 1232(c)(3)(B) (“Before placing the child with an individual, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall determine whether a home study is first necessary.”).

Insofar as the custody of unaccompanied class members are concerned, the TVPRA specifically designates the Secretary of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) as the successor to the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (“INS”). As Defendants admit, Response at 7, both the CDC and ORR are subordinate entities of HHS, and whether CDC, ORR, or any other part of HHS has legal custody of Title 42 children is therefore immaterial: HHS has legal custody either way, and the Settlement binds HHS just as much as it does DHS. . . .

Again, whether HHS, DHS, or any other federal department or agency has legal custody of an unaccompanied child, all federal agencies — including the CDC — are equally duty-bound to transfer the child to HHS, which must then “promptly place[] [her or him] in the least restrictive setting that is in the best interest of the child.” See 8 U.S.C. § 1232(c)(2)(A). . . .

Given the immense unused capacity of Defendants’ licensed shelters, including numerous shelters proximate to the southern border, there is simply no reason Defendants should be detaining children in hotels for any longer than 72 hours, and certainly not for as long as 19 days. . . .

Some children, as young as two or three — have now been held for over 19 days, against a standard of 72 hours maximum, under the Flores settlement. Onward, to tomorrow’s massacre, of Sarah Fabian’s positions, in Los Angeles federal district court. We will live blog. Out.


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