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Press Release

AG Shapiro Files Lawsuit Opposing Trump Administration’s Rule Allowing Prolonged Detention of Children

August 26, 2019 | Topic: Rights

HARRISBURG—Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced today that he is filing a lawsuit with 19 other attorneys general opposing the Trump Administration’s new rule circumventing the Flores Settlement Agreement, which has governed the treatment of children in immigration custody since 1997. In the complaint before the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the coalition argues that the rule eliminates several critical protections guaranteed by the Flores Settlement Agreement. In particular, the prolonged detention risked by the rule would cause irreparable harm to children, their families, and the Pennsylvania communities that accept them upon their release from federal custody.

“The Flores Settlement is the law of the land, and it was established to protect children from the emotional and physical trauma caused by prolonged detention and separation,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “This is yet another brazen attempt by the Trump Administration to strip states of their power and loosen regulations and oversight on facilities detaining families and children. As Pennsylvania Attorney General, I will do everything in my power to protect the safety and wellbeing of all children, and I am proud to stand with my colleague attorneys general in challenging the Administration’s attempt to roll back these critical protections.”

In addition to Pennsylvania, the coalition included the attorneys general of California, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

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