According to a recent New York Times article, a federal judge in California has asked an independent monitor, to ensure that the federal government immediately improves health and sanitation for children currently residing in immigration detention facilities in Texas. The judge appointed the monitor last year after finding that the federal government had violated the terms of the 1997 consent decree in the Flores case, widely known as the Flores Settlement.
Recent reports of the conditions in the detention facilities prompted the judge to order the government to take swifter steps to improve the conditions, which reportedly include a lack of proper nutrition, hygiene, and clean clothing for immigrant children. The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) documented similar concerns after monitoring conditions in facilities in the Rio Grande Valley.
For their part, federal government officials have claimed that the reports of lawyers who visited the facilities are false. They also stated that they are operating the facilities as best they can under the massive influx of Central American migrants seeking asylum. In response, some Democratic legislators have visited various immigrant detention centers to evaluate the conditions for themselves.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs also filed a motion for a temporary restraining order in the case, requesting that the court mandate immediate inspection of the facilities by a public health expert. The motion also asked that the federal government speed up the release of detained children to relatives or friends as their sponsors and allow medical professionals direct access to those facilities.
The federal government and attorneys for the plaintiffs then reached an agreement for the federal government to remedy the conditions that the judge previously found violated the Flores Settlement. The government also will allow a pediatrician to access the various facilities to evaluate the health of the detained migrants and make recommendations to remedy the unacceptable conditions. The parties agreed to a deadline of August 29, 2019, for the doctor to submit a report to the independent monitor.
Our goal is to assist you with your immigration concerns, whether family or business-based. We can evaluate your situation and develop a strategy that is most likely to be efficient and effective in your case. Regardless of the immigration matter that you are facing, the attorneys of Peek & Toland have the experience, knowledge, and reputation that you want and need to advocate on your behalf. When results matter most, contact us at (512) 399-2311.