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Illinois joins lawsuit on migrant child protections rollback

(WCAX)
Published: Aug. 26, 2019 at 5:59 PM CDT
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Illinois is among 19 states suing over the Trump administration's effort to alter a federal agreement that limits how long immigrant children can be kept in detention.

Attorneys general in California and Massachusetts are leading the effort and filed the lawsuit Monday.

A 1997 agreement, known as the Flores settlement, says immigrant children must be kept in the least restrictive setting and generally shouldn’t spend more than 20 days in detention.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said last week it would create new regulations on how migrant children are treated. The administration wants to remove court oversight and allow families in detention longer than 20 days.

About 475,000 families have crossed the border so far this budget year, nearly three times the previous full-year record for families.

A judge must OK the Trump administration’s proposed changes in order to end the agreement, and a legal battle is expected from the case’s original lawyers.

Other states joining the lawsuit are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

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