U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee in California ruled the U.S. Department of Justice is violating a court settlement from 18 years ago prohibiting the detention of children. This ruling upholds one U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee made in April, and follows Gee asking the two sides for a settlement, which they failed to give, according to The Associated Press.
There was a settlement in 1997 that prohibited anyone from holding immigrant children in unlicensed and secure facilities, which Gee found covers all children in federal immigration custody, even if they have been placed with their parents. Immigration advocates hail this as an important step forward in immigration reform.
“They are holding children in unsafe facilities, it’s that simple,” Peter Schey, one of the attorneys who brought the suit and an executive director of the Center for Human Rights, told the AP. “It’s intolerable, it’s inhumane, and it needs to end, and end sooner rather than later.”
What this ruling will mean for children currently held in family detention centers remains to be seen, according to the source, but moving forward, immigrant children will not be held in this way unless in extraordinary circumstances.