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BPC’s Brown on Proposed Changes to Family Detention Regulations

Washington, D.C. – The following is a statement from Theresa Cardinal Brown, director of immigration and cross-border policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, on the Trump administration’s efforts to change regulations related to family detention:

“This latest attempt to address the situation at the border through regulation is likely to quickly end up in federal court. For the White House, this is all a sprint to the Supreme Court, where they believe at least one of their proposals will be allowed to proceed. Meanwhile, for immigration authorities on the ground, who are desperate for solutions to a very real migration crisis, this offers no immediate relief.

“Furthermore, today’s announcement is not part of a coordinated whole-of-government effort. The Trump administration isn’t putting forward a comprehensive, or even coherent, plan to address migration at the border. The regulations proposed for Flores, which would detain families in the United States while their cases are heard, are at odds with the Migration Protection Protocols that are sending families back to Mexico to await their hearings, or the asylum ban regulations that deny asylum to families who traveled through other countries to the border, obviating the need for detention. Finally, the administration and the Department of Homeland Security have not demonstrated the ability to meet the standards they are setting for themselves in this new regulation. There is not a plan for new facilities with increased standards nor an independent body that would oversee it.

“The situation at the border requires a comprehensive approach, not this ‘spaghetti on the wall’ strategy. The administration needs a coordinated plan to address the situation for migrants they encounter at the border in a humane and fair way, a fair but expedited process for adjudicating asylum claims, cooperating with our neighbors to better manage the migration of people in the region, and addressing the conditions in those countries driving migration.”

BPC has published recommendations for a regional migration strategy, and recently hosted an event on the topic.

Theresa Cardinal Brown is available for interviews.