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Federal Court to Decide on Justice Department’s Request to Extend Immigrant Detention

lawThe fate of President Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration, which has resulted in massive backlash over its separation of immigrant children from their guardians at the border, will be decided in the Los Angeles federal court this month. U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee will be presiding over arguments on July 27.

Critics of the administration’s immigration policy will be presenting their case against the President’s recent executive order ending the practice of separating immigrant children from their guardians. The dissent stems from the order being used as a springboard for another problematic immigration policy involving the extension of the detention periods of these immigrant families.

The order states that “alien families” will be detained “together throughout the pendency of criminal proceedings for improper entry or any removal or other immigration proceedings” in the effort to maintain “family unity.” President Trump additionally clarifies that unlawfully present families will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, consistent with his hardline approach to immigration.

In line with the order, the Department of Justice filed a request for the court to allow the extension of the detention of immigrant families beyond the 20-day limit established in a 1997 ruling known as the “Flores settlement.”

“[The Flores Agreement] keep us from detaining alien children with their parents for more than 20 days while their asylum cases are pending,” explains US Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “We are asking the court to let ICE detain illegal alien children together with their parent or legal guardian in family residential facilities.”

Justifying their stance, the Justice Department claims that the Flores settlement, along with the current lack of “practical availability of family detention across the nation,” encourages immigrants to enter the country with their children.

Lastly, the filing states that “the government is not asking to be relieved from the substantive language of the agreement on the conditions of detention in these facilities. The government asks for immediate relief, along with a schedule to allow the parties to more fully address the issues raised by this request.”

The administration, however, may have their work cut out for them, what with Judge Dolly Gee being an immigrant herself. Her own great-great-grandfather migrated to the United States to work on the transcontinental railroad and was subsequently removed by directed anti-immigrant legislation. Her father moved to the United States at the age of 15 during the second World War.

In fact, Gee attributes her reason for becoming a lawyer as wanting to do some kind of work to “address some of the inequities I saw as a child.”

If you would like to learn more about this latest update to U.S. immigration policy, or have a loved one seeking a green card, asylum, or citizenship, don’t hesitate to sit down for a consultation with the Lyttle Law Firm. Call our offices today at (512) 215-5225 to talk to immigration attorney Daniella Lyttle.