By Jaclyn Kelley-Widmer, for The Washington Post
The Trump administration released a regulation last week that would allow it to detain migrant children indefinitely. The new rule, which is not yet in effect, would end the 1997 consent decree known as the Flores Settlement Agreement, which put in place protections for migrant children who arrive at the border. The Flores agreement limits how long children can be detained and requires that they be placed in the least restrictive setting possible.
Many Americans first heard about the Flores agreement last summer, when the Trump administration began separating families at the border. The administration claimed that it had to separate children from their guardians because the Flores agreement would not let the government detain the families together long enough to resolve the parents’ immigration cases, which often takes months or years. Previous administrations usually released families until their cases were heard.
In response to public outrage, the Trump administration officially ended the family separation policy — but continued to separate hundreds of families under other rules. Meanwhile, the administration continued its efforts to do away with Flores altogether, culminating in this rule.
Here are four things to know about the new rule.