The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard arguments in Flores v. Sessions last month, which is a case that involves the 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement. This Agreement has been the subject of litigation for years, as it concerns the treatment of minors who are in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In this particular action, the federal government is seeking an emergency stay of the Flores Agreement, which would allow it to detain noncitizen minor children. The main provision in Flores, which was reached 20 years ago, allows unaccompanied minors to go before the judge under certain terms. In recent years, there has been a difference of opinion when it comes to Flores’ application to minors who arrive in the U.S. with parents or other adult family members. This has become an issue of particular importance given the surge of Central American women and children seeking refuge in the U.S. over the last few years, which has increased the need for family detention centers. While the government contended that Flores Agreement does not apply to children who arrive in the country with adult family members, immigration advocates argued that Flores applies to all children, not just those who are unaccompanied minors. The U.S. District Court that originally heard the case ruled that Flores applies to all immigrant children, whether unaccompanied or accompanied by a parent or adult relative. It is this decision for which the federal government sought an emergency stay, pending further appeal by the government. In this order, the court directed DHS to promptly and continuously seek reunification of families, release detained children without unnecessary delay, hold detained children in appropriate facilities, release accompanying parents along with the minors (except in cases of mandatory detention, safety risk, or flight risk), monitor compliance with detention conditions, and produce monthly statistical information regarding these issues. When you or a loved one are detained and face deportation for any reason, Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. is here to help. We care about you, your family, and your ability to remain in the U.S. As a result, our California deportation defense lawyers stand ready to build the strongest possible deportation defense case on your behalf. Contact your Oakland immigration lawyer today and learn how we can advocate for you and your family in your deportation proceedings.
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