Washington: The US government said in a court filing that it has “the right to detain children and parents” caught crossing the US border illegally for the duration of their immigration proceedings, reports said on Saturday. The US government said it will not “separate families but detain families together during the pendency of immigration proceedings”.
The filing is a response to US District Court Judge Dana Sabraw’s ruling in San Diego that immigration authorities must stop separating migrant children from their parents under President Donald Trump’s ‘zero-tolerance’ policy and reunite some 2,300 children in 30 days or less who have been detained separately since May.
A 1997 court settlement known as the ‘Flores agreement’ has generally been interpreted to require the Department of Homeland Security to release illegal immigrant children from custody after 20 days. But Justice Department lawyers said in the filing in US District Court in California that they now have no choice but to hold children for as long as it takes to resolve their immigration cases.
UN agencies welcome EU migration deal
UN humanitarian agencies have welcomed the freshly-inked deal on migration by European Union leaders which calls for more Member States to take responsibility within their borders for those in need of protection, amid a hardening stance by some since 2015. Almost 40,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in Europe via maritime routes in 2018.