The Trump administration announced a new rule Thursday that would allow immigrant children with their parents to be held in detention indefinitely, upending a ban on indefinite detention that has been in place for 20 years, NBC News reported.
The rule, proposed by the departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services, goes into effect in 60 days and will allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to keep children with their mothers in detention facilities while their cases for asylum play out in court.
A DHS official speaking on the condition of anonymity said the purpose of the rulemaking is to terminate the 1997 Flores settlement agreement that said children could not be held in detention longer than 20 days. The result may mean the issue is taken to appellate courts or even the Supreme Court.
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Officials argue that the rulemaking is legal because they will be holding children in ICE facilities that have been evaluated by third parties. And DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement that the rulemaking is necessary to enforce immigration laws.