LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The U.S. Department of Justice today filed an emergency request with a Los Angeles federal judge asking that she revise a 1997 ruling so the Trump administration can execute a new policy for detaining immigrant families at the border.
The motion, filed with U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee in downtown Los Angeles, seeks to alter parts of an agreement from a 1985 case that bans the detention of children for more than 20 days and prohibits that children be held in daycare facilities not licensed by the state.
The request came a day after President Donald Trump signed an executive order to halt the separation of children from undocumented adults under his “zero tolerance" policy.
The issue stems from a consent decree and other rulings in the so- called Flores case that require the release of detained children within 20 days. But illegal entry cases against adults usually take far more than 20 days to litigate, so the government wants approval to allow kids to stay with their detained parents during the legal process.
In its motion, government lawyers wrote that previous decisions helped precipitate “a destabilizing migratory crisis: tens of thousands of families are embarking on the dangerous journey to the United States, often through smuggling arrangements, and then crossing the border illegally in violation of our federal criminal law.”
“This entire journey and ultimate crossing puts children and families at risk, and violates criminal laws enacted by Congress to protect the border,” according to the DOJ. “Those illegal crossings must stop.”