Daily Caller

Fewer Illegal Migrants Will Enter US Under New Trump Rule, DHS Says

Jason Hopkins on August 21, 2019

  • The White House will establish licensing regimes for family residential centers in order to address the illegal immigration crisis.
  • A 2015 court ruling regarding the Flores settlement effectively mandates that family residential centers be regulated by state licensing regimes, but no such licensing exists, which has fueled the crisis.
  • Because no state licensing regimes exist, a massive number of family units have been able to exploit U.S. immigration laws by claiming asylum and be quickly released from these family residential centers.

The Trump administration’s changes to the regulation of family detention will dramatically reduce the flow of illegal immigration into the U.S., homeland security officials and immigration hawks argue.

“Today, the government has issued a critical rule that will permit the Department of Homeland Security to appropriately hold families together and improve the integrity of the immigration system,” acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan said during a Wednesday press conference. “This rule allows the federal government to enforce immigration laws as passed by Congress and ensures that all children in U.S. government custody are treated with dignity, respect, and special concern for their particular vulnerability.”

The Trump administration is creating a licensing regime in order to license family residential centers so that, in keeping with the Flores Settlement Agreement, immigration authorities no longer have to release migrant families within 20 days.

This change would effectively eliminate the incentive migrants have when attempting to enter the U.S. illegally and claiming asylum, McAleenan said. Under the current environment, adult migrants who bring a child and lodge an asylum claim are well-aware that they can only be placed in a family residential center for a limited amount of time and will then likely be released into the interior of the U.S. before their cases are adjudicated.

By being able to keep family units in detention for the entire duration of their court proceedings, the loophole many immigrants are currently taking advantage of would be removed.

“This is common sense change for the better that we rarely see in Washington. It addresses concerns about family separation while reducing the incentive of a quick release into the interior of the U.S. It also closes a loophole that has been exploited for too long by aliens and the cartels that transport them,” Dale L. Wilcox, the executive director and general counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, said in a Wednesday statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

More specifically, the rollout pertains to regulations established under the Flores Settlement Agreement.

Signed in 1997, the Flores settlement created standards for the detention of unaccompanied alien children and established state licensing authority for the detention centers that house unaccompanied minors. However, Flores was turned upside down when a 2015 court ruling interpreted the settlement to also apply to accompanied alien children, meaning children who arrive with their parents or other family members.

How did applying Flores to accompanied alien children affect the regulation of illegal migration? While states have licensing standards for the detention of adults and unaccompanied children, they have no such standards codified for the detention of family units. This meant that family detention centers were unlicensed, and under the rules established by Flores, those detained in family residential centers must be released in a timely manner. This is where the 20-day release period was set for detained family units.

Earlier in the Trump administration, authorities notably tried to separate children from their families in order to bypass this rule. However, this was met with widespread pushback from the public, and President Donald Trump officially ended family separation.

Instead of separating families, or simply releasing family units by the thousands, the Trump administration has now established a third option: creating an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) licensing standard to license family residential centers. This way, family units can be detained for the duration of the court proceedings.

“The new rule allowing families to be held together in detention facilities while their asylum cases are heard by the courts is a win for the integrity of the process, a win for those seeking safe haven in the United States, and a win for the American public,” Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said in a Wednesday statement. “This game-changing regulation is yet another example of an administration doing all it can in the face of a do-nothing Congress and activist judges legislating from the bench.”

Since the 2015 court ruling, the number of family units reaching the U.S.-Mexico border has exploded. There are roughly 68,000 family units who encountered the U.S. southern border in 2014. For the duration of the current fiscal year, which isn’t even completed, around 390,000 family units have been through the U.S. border.

“People know if you bring a kid, it’s a free ticket into the United States,” a DHS official said of the crisis. “We fully expect that [this rule change] is going to have an impact on the flows of family units.”

Daily Caller

DCwire features investigative reporting syndicated with permission from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

View Comments

  • This crap has been going on for about 30 years, it's not going to get fixed overnight, especially since the Bushes were globalist/socialists and cowards concerning Democrats.

  • This crap has been going on for about 30 years, it's not going to get fixed overnight, especially since the Bushes were globalist/socialists and cowards concerning Democrats.

  • And here's the deal, I really care about the countries to the south of us. But we don't have berets everyone can just put on and be "American", like you can, to be "French". We have an ideal, a dream, a belief in liberty, freedom given from the Creator and the rule of law. And that CAN NOT BE "KEPT" with the third world (or even "second world") huge influx of people coming in (legally and illegally). And you know what? Lots of immigrants who are here legally, GET IT, and they want the wall built! BTW, I mentioned "keeping" our country because when Ben Franklin was asked "What kind of government did you give us?" and he said "A Republic, if you can keep it". If we can not keep this Republic, we can't help each other and the world.

  • And here's the deal, I really care about the countries to the south of us. But we don't have berets everyone can just put on and be "American", like you can, to be "French". We have an ideal, a dream, a belief in liberty, freedom given from the Creator and the rule of law. And that CAN NOT BE "KEPT" with the third world (or even "second world") huge influx of people coming in (legally and illegally). And you know what? Lots of immigrants who are here legally, GET IT, and they want the wall built! BTW, I mentioned "keeping" our country because when Ben Franklin was asked "What kind of government did you give us?" and he said "A Republic, if you can keep it". If we can not keep this Republic, we can't help each other and the world.

  • And here's the deal, I really care about the countries to the south of us. But we don't have berets everyone can just put on and be "American", like you can, to be "French". We have an ideal, a dream, a belief in liberty, freedom given from the Creator and the rule of law. And that CAN NOT BE "KEPT" with the third world (or even "second world") huge influx of people coming in (legally and illegally). And you know what? Lots of immigrants who are here legally, GET IT, and they want the wall built! BTW, I mentioned "keeping" our country because when Ben Franklin was asked "What kind of government did you give us?" and he said "A Republic, if you can keep it". If we can not keep this Republic, we can't help each other and the world.

  • Thank you Mr President, thank you for finding a common sense solution to this crisis. By implementing policies should have been done years ago. However candidates, on both sides, have used immigration as "platforms" in pretty much every election. This will also be a huge blow to the democrats as any normal thinking person will see this as a good thing.

  • Thank you Mr President, thank you for finding a common sense solution to this crisis. By implementing policies should have been done years ago. However candidates, on both sides, have used immigration as "platforms" in pretty much every election. This will also be a huge blow to the democrats as any normal thinking person will see this as a good thing.

  • So the hold up was the absence of a "licensing regime" for family units with children?? And Homeland Security is stepping up to FIX THE PROBLEM!!!

    Well thank you President Trump for persevering!!! Every policy requires a fight with Democrats who fail to consider the consequence of embedding third world poverty on a large scale inside the United States!

    Thank you for 1) BUILDING THE WALL! 2) Strong arming Mexico to tackle the mess of Illegals from Guatemala and Honduras on its own southern border 3) Fixing Asylum rules so applicants wait in Mexico and 4) deploying the U.S military & National Guard to assist Border Patrol, and NOW 5) Fixing the Flores agreement by establishing a LICENSING REGIME for family units in detention.

    MAGNIFICENT WORK, SIR.

  • So the hold up was the absence of a "licensing regime" for family units with children?? And Homeland Security is stepping up to FIX THE PROBLEM!!!

    Well thank you President Trump for persevering!!! Every policy requires a fight with Democrats who fail to consider the consequence of embedding third world poverty on a large scale inside the United States!

    Thank you for 1) BUILDING THE WALL! 2) Strong arming Mexico to tackle the mess of Illegals from Guatemala and Honduras on its own southern border 3) Fixing Asylum rules so applicants wait in Mexico and 4) deploying the U.S military & National Guard to assist Border Patrol, and NOW 5) Fixing the Flores agreement by establishing a LICENSING REGIME for family units in detention.

    MAGNIFICENT WORK, SIR.

  • No, they are "so-called family units." Many, if not most, of the "families" that cross the border illegally are a single man and kidnapped women and children under cartel control. Existing law and Flores _encourage_ human trafficking. If a District Court rules against the President, he should veto it. He can veto a bill passed by an _elected_ Congress, so why not a ruling by an _unelected_ judge? The 3 branches are supposed to be coequal, but they're not if no veto. Now, the entire concept of finding laws unconstitutional is not in the Constitution but was just arrogated to itself by SCOTUS in Marbury v. Madison. So the President should just arrogate to himself a judicial veto, as long as there is an override procedure. Congress can override a veto with a 2/3 vote, so a 2/3 vote of the Supreme Court is reasonable.

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