The Trump administration proposed a new rule on Thursday that would allow it to circumvent the restrictions that prevent immigrant children from remaining in federal detention for more than 20 days.
The proposal would circumvent the rules established by a federal court agreement, known as the Flores agreement, which limited the detention of children and families for more than 20 days.
The proposed change is likely to face legal challenges on the part of immigrant rights activists who oppose the detention of children.
Judge of the United States District Court, Dolly M. Gee, already denied a request from the Trump administration earlier this year to allow the government to detain the families for longer periods than Flores allowed.
US Internal Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen said on Thursday that changing the rules for immigrant children would close a loophole that prevents the federal government from properly enforcing immigration laws.
The Flores agreement played a significant role in the now defunct Trump administration's policy of separating children from their parents on the southern border of the US. UU
The agreement requires that migrant children remain in the "least restrictive" environment possible and prevents their detention for more than 20 days, even if they are with their parents.
When the Trump administration separated immigrant children from their parents earlier this year, officials pointed to the agreement, saying they had to separate them because they would rape Flores to stop the families together.
Administration officials also said that their actions under the "zero tolerance" immigration policy were an impediment for parents who would take their children to the other side of the border to avoid being arrested.
In other words, the administration sought to end a practice under the Obama administration of "capture and release," in which families were normally allowed to be paroled after illegal border crossings.
"Today, loopholes significantly hinder the ability of the department to adequately stop and quickly eliminate family units that have no legal basis to remain in the country," said National Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen. "This rule addresses one of the main factors of attraction for illegal immigration and allows the federal government to enforce the immigration laws passed by Congress."
The proposed changes would allow the US Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. UU Establish more family detention centers where parents and immigrant children can stay together.
Currently, the United States has three family detention centers, which have a total capacity of approximately 3,500 beds.
Gilberto Calmo embraces his son Franklin Noe Calmo, who was sent back on Tuesday after being arrested at the United States border, in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
National Security officials are looking for 12,000 additional beds to house the families, as well as enough space to house 20,000 children who entered the country on their own.
The proposed rule change would allow the government to hold immigrants indefinitely while their cases are litigated in an immigration court.
The authorities said that the proposed changes in the rules would "satisfy the purpose" of Flores and would also ensure that immigrant children are treated with dignity, respect and concern for their particular vulnerability as minors. "
Under the zero tolerance policy of the administration, more than 2,600 children were separated from their parents.
Great public outrage and widespread protests eventually forced Donald Trump to issue an executive order on June 20 that ended the practice. Nearly 500 children remain separated from their parents and in government custody.