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Delaware joins state AGs suing Trump Administration over child migrant detention rule

Delaware Public Media

Delaware’s Attorney General has joined several other states suing over a new Trump Administration policy affecting the detention of migrant children.

The Trump Administration released a rule last week that would allow it to detain migrant children with their families indefinitely— until their cases are decided. 

It would replace a longstanding legal agreement called the Flores Settlement — under which migrant children can only be detained for about twenty days. 

Now Delaware has joined 18 other states and the District of Columbia in challenging the rule. 

In a statement, Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings cited a “moral and legal responsibility” to ensure children in US custody are safe, treated humanely and detained no longer than necessary. 


“The conditions that the children living in these facilities are being subjected to are frankly detestable," said Delaware Department of Justice spokesman Mat Marshall. "There have been reports, including one from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General, that refer to egregious violations of detention standards at multiple facilities.”


Jennings said the treatment of children transcends party or politics and speaks to “our values as a nation.” 


The complaint filed by the Attorneys General also argues the new rule prevents states from helping ensure the welfare of children in their boundaries by taking away state licensing requirements for facilities holding children.

If approved, the federal regulation would take effect in late October.


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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