Immigration Law

US must release immigrant kids who cross the border with a parent, 9th Circuit says

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A 1997 settlement regarding the treatment of immigrant children who are picked up at the border applies to children traveling with a parent, a federal appeals court has ruled.

The decision by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals requires immigration officials to quickly release such children to the custody of relatives or other sponsors, the Washington Times, the Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times and Courthouse News Service report. How Appealing notes the coverage and links to the July 6 opinion.

The Obama administration had maintained the 1997 settlement applied only to unaccompanied immigrant children.

The opinion says the settlement does not provide release rights to the parents who are picked up with the children for entering the United States illegally. That portion of the opinion reverses a federal judge’s ruling last year.

Melissa Crow, legal director of the American Immigration Council, told AP the court “misses the point” because the children are still treated unfairly when they are separated from their parents.

The case is Flores v. Lynch.

See also:

ABA Journal: “Meet the father of the landmark lawsuit that secured basic rights for immigrant minors”

ABA Journal (2014): “Lawyers and judges face hurdles in struggle to cope with influx of young immigrants”

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