Separate Federal Court Rulings Give Migrant Parents Different Options

Published: Tuesday, July 10, 2018 - 6:06pm
Updated: Wednesday, July 11, 2018 - 8:40am
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One federal judge has blocked the government from keeping migrant families detained together indefinitely, while a different federal judge has ordered the government to stop separating families.

In a case dating the back to the 1990s, a judge has ruled against changing the so-called Flores settlement so the government can detain migrant children for more than 20 days. In the case of Ms. L. vs. U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement, another judge has blocked the government from splitting up families.

Now migrant parents facing prosecution can exercise either the right to keep their child with them in custody, or they can separate so their kid can get out of detention.

But it’s not the only choice, said Angela Banks, law professor at Arizona State University.

“There are a number of other options that are available as well,” Banks said. “If a parent decided, ‘I will waive neither of those rights,’ then the ball is in the government’s court to decide how to proceed.”

Rulings in both cases may force the government to let migrant parents go on bond, and use ankle bracelets to keep tabs on them, Banks said.

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