Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Attorney General Frosh Joins Coalition Defending Human Rights of Immigrant Children in Civil Detention
BALTIMORE, MD (July 10, 2019) – Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh today joined a coalition of attorneys general in filing an amicus brief to defend the human rights of immigrant children in civil detention in the United States. In the brief filed with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the coalition urges the court to grant immediate relief to remedy the imminent threat to the health and welfare of immigrant children detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Under theFlores Settlement Agreement, children have the right to safe and sanitary conditions of detention and prompt release or placement at a state-licensed facility. However, under the Trump Administration, immigrant children have been held for weeks in inhumane conditions without access to basic necessities like soap, clean water, toothbrushes, showers, or a place to sleep.
“The Trump Administration is separating young children, including toddlers, from their parents. They are crowding these kids in freezing warehouses without sufficient food, beds, blankets or bathroom facilities. The conditions are unsafe and unsanitary, and the children who have become ill as a result are not receiving the medical care they need notwithstanding the valiant efforts of the few medical professionals available to them, ” said Attorney General Frosh. “The treatment of these children in the custody of the United States of America is a disgrace. It is illegal and inhumane. It must cease.”
For more than two decades, the federal government has been required to meet minimum standards for the facilities in which immigrant children may be confined. These minimum standards, established in theFlores Settlement Agreement, require, among other things, that CBP facilities holding children following arrest must be safe and sanitary. They must also provide children with enumerated services, including access to toilets and sinks, drinking water and food, medical assistance, and adequate supervision.
However, CBP is blatantly failing to comply with its obligations under the court-monitored FloresSettlement Agreement. Children are being denied access to safe and sanitary conditions, clean drinking water, and medication. In addition, young children are irresponsibly and dangerously tasked with the care of toddlers and infants. This treatment inflicts irreparable harm on children under CBP custody, where hospitalizations continue to occur. The federal government’s blatant disregard of its obligations under theFlores Settlement Agreement conflicts with federal statutory requirements that immigration authorities consider “the best interest of the child” when taking action with respect to unaccompanied immigrant children.
In addition to Maryland, the brief was joined by the attorneys general of California, Massachusetts, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawai’i, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.
at 7/10/2019 09:30:00 PM