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National Center for Youth Law - The Flores Settlement Agreement & Unaccompanied Children in Federal Custody, 2019

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Tornillo, photo courtesy of Reuters

The Flores Settlement
Agreement &
Unaccompanied Children in
Federal Custody

February 2019

U.C. Davis Immigration Law Clinic

	
This briefing document was prepared by the National Center for Youth Law, co-counsel on Flores,
along with the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law and the University of California Davis
School of Law Immigration Clinic. For further information on the issues presented in this briefing,
please contact Lewis Cohen, Communications Director at the National Center for Youth Law (email:
lcohen@youthlaw.org; phone: (510) 835-8098, ext. 3045).
	
This briefing document is focused on issues relating to unaccompanied children in federal
immigration custody. The Flores Settlement Agreement also applies to accompanied children in federal
custody, who are not discussed in this document.
	
Assertions contained within this document are based on Flores counsel’s conversations with
numerous detained children, potential sponsors, and children’s immigration attorneys over the past
few years. Featured quotes are taken from statements by detained children and potential sponsors
completed by Flores counsel over the past year.

•2•

Overview
	
Every year, thousands of unaccompanied children arrive in the United States to escape
persecution in foreign countries. Children who arrive without a parent or legal guardian
are classified as “unaccompanied” and transferred to the custody of the Office of Refugee
Resettlement (ORR), where they remain detained until they are released to sponsors.1
	
Over the course of 2018, the total population of children in ORR custody increased by
more than 97 percent – reaching its highest level in history – even though the number of
children arriving at the U.S. border remains comparable to years past. So many children are now
languishing in ORR custody that the agency has begun detaining children at unlicensed, “influx”
facilities. Recent changes in policy and practice have led to unnecessary delays and obstruction
in the release of these children to their families. These policies and practices have increased the
suffering of immigrant children and families, while increasing the burden on taxpayers as well.
	The Flores Settlement Agreement, reached in 1997, applies child welfare protections to
vulnerable immigrant children. The Settlement sets national standards for the detention and
treatment, with a preference for prompt release, of all minors detained in the custody of the
federal government, and is critical to the ongoing protection of these children. The Trump
Administration has indicated that it aims to eliminate the Settlement Agreement.
	
This briefing is intended to provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of
unaccompanied children in ORR custody, such that legislators can pursue solutions to protect the
best interests of this vulnerable population.
To that end, this briefing addresses the following topics:
1.	 Background on the Flores Settlement Agreement
2.	 Current state of unaccompanied children in the United States
3.	 Solutions

“Being detained for such a long time has
made me feel really bad. I never used to
have such problems with depression or
anxiety, but since I have been detained
I have become much more frustrated.
Being detained at Yolo makes me feel
like I am going crazy.
I am always alone with my thoughts
and bad memories of things that have
happened to me run through my head
all day. I don’t know how I can improve
my mental health if I am kept in a cage.”
Child
Yolo Secure Detention Facility, CA

“I feel like I am a prisoner here, but
I have not done anything wrong.
Every morning I wake up crying
because I want to be with my family.
It is difficult for me to be here
because I don’t know what is going
to happen to me.
The staff members tell me what
they are not allowed to treat us with
any sort of affection. They are told
that we are not their children, so
they should not treat us with any
affection.”
Child
Homestead, FL

•3•

Background:
The Flores Settlement Agreement
	The Flores lawsuit was filed in 1985 in order to address the mistreatment of immigrant
children in federal custody. The case settled in 1997 and remains under the supervision of U.S.
District Judge Dolly Gee in the Central District of California. The Flores Settlement Agreement
sets national standards for the detention, treatment, and release of all minors detained in
the custody of the federal government. Plaintiffs have filed multiple motions to enforce the
Settlement against the government’s violations of its terms.

The Settlement requires ORR to promptly release children to appropriate sponsors.
•• Children must be released “without unnecessary delay” to a sponsor, which may be a
parent, relative, designate of the parent, or responsible adult, as deemed appropriate.2

The Settlement was created to bring child welfare protections to children in
immigration custody.
•• Children must be held in the “least restrictive setting” appropriate, based on his or her age
and needs.3

With limited exceptions, discussed below, the Settlement requires ORR to place
unaccompanied minors in non-secure facilities that are licensed to care for
dependent children.4
•• Licensed facilities must “comply with all applicable state child welfare laws and regulations.”5
•• Licensed facilities must be “licensed by an appropriate State agency to provide residential,
group, or foster care services for dependent children . . . .”6
•• Over the past few years, Judge Gee has issued orders reinforcing the Settlement’s
requirement that class members be placed in non-secure, licensed facilities.
○○ In 2015, the court found that the government’s placement of class members in secure,
unlicensed ICE family detention centers breached the Settlement. The court stated,
“according to the language of the Agreement, Defendants must house children who are
not released in a non-secure facility that is licensed by an appropriate state agency to
care for dependent children.”7

•4•

ORR may only deny children a licensed placement under narrow circumstances.8
•• The Ninth Circuit has affirmed Judge Gee’s ruling that “in the event of an emergency or
influx of minors into the United States,” minors may be held in unlicensed facilities for 20
days, “if 20 days is as fast as [ORR], in good faith and in the exercise of due diligence, can
possibly go in screening family members . . . .”9
•• ORR is not required to place a child in a licensed facility if the child has committed a violent
crime or non-petty delinquent act, has threatened violence while in federal custody, is an
unusual escape risk, or is so disruptive that secure confinement is necessary to ensure the
welfare of the minor or others.10

The Settlement applies regardless of whether or not a facility is located on federal land.
•• The Settlement protects “[a]ll minors who are detained in the legal custody of the INS”
or its successors in interest, ICE, CBP, and ORR.11 The Agreement thus covers all children
without regard to the title-holder of the real property where ORR choses to detain them.
•• The Settlement requires ORR to house the general population of detained minors in
facilities holding a valid license to care for dependent, as opposed to delinquent, children
issued by the state in which the facility is located.12 ORR must accordingly obtain a state
dependent care license for facilities located on federal land, such as the Homestead facility.
Regardless of the reason, if ORR cannot obtain a state license for a facility, it may place
children in such a facility only temporarily: that is, ORR must transfer them to a licensed
placement “as expeditiously as possible.”13
•• As the federal court ruled regarding ICE’s professed inability to obtain state dependent care
licenses for facilities in which it detains families, if a state deems such facilities ineligible
for dependent care licensure, ICE simply may not confine children in such facilities, except
temporarily.14

“The children should be home with
their parents. The government
makes lousy parents.”15
Lynn Johnson
Assistant Secretary
HHS Admin. for Children & Families
Dec. 18, 2018

•5•

The Settlement is critical to the safety and welfare of immigrant children.
•• Decades of child welfare research establish that children separated from family should be
placed in the least restrictive environment possible.
○○ Children in foster care should only be placed in non-family settings (such as shelters,
group care, or residential treatment centers) when such placements are therapeutically
or medically necessary.16
○○ Compared to children placed with foster families, children placed in non-family
settings are more likely to experience further physical abuse, have poorer educational
outcomes, and become involved in the juvenile justice system.17
•• The requirement that ORR-contracted facilities be licensed by the state for the care of
dependent children is a core component of the Settlement.
○○ Every state child welfare system requires group homes and other facilities housing
dependent children to be licensed.18
○○ State child welfare licensing standards are designed to ensure that all child care
programs meet minimum requirements in order to protect the health and
wellbeing of children. Judge Gee has emphasized the importance of this Settlement
requirement, stating that the “purpose of the licensing provision is to provide class
members the essential protection of regular and comprehensive oversight by an
independent child welfare agency.”19
○○ For example, licensing standards in the state of Texas include detailed requirements
regarding child/caregiver ratios, staff training and certification, education, medical
care, nutrition and hydration, medication administration, discipline, emergency
behavior intervention, safety and emergency practices, physical site safety, recreation
activities, and transportation, among many others.20

“The best place for a child is with a parent.
That’s well established in society, under law, in
social work practice . . .
This is just another iteration of family
separation. Children being kept away from
their parents and family members, in an
institutional setting, in the desert . . . .21
Robert Carey
Former ORR Director
Nov. 29, 2018

•6•

The detention and separation of children from their families causes profound and 	
long-lasting mental and physical harm.
•• A longstanding body of research has established that detaining children interferes with
healthy development, exposes youth to abuse, undermines educational attainment, makes
mentally ill children worse, and puts children at greater risk of self-harm.22
○○ Separation from adult caregivers, peer groups, and educational and work settings
undermines youths’ developmental processes and ability to gain skills needed to
transition into adulthood.23
○○ Studies of immigrant children detained in the United States have discovered high
rates of posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and other
behavioral challenges.24
•• The American Academy of Pediatrics has explained that “highly stressful experiences, like
family separation, can cause irreparable harm, disrupting a child’s brain architecture and
affecting his or her short- and long-term health. This type of prolonged exposure to serious
stress—known as toxic stress—can carry lifelong consequences for children.”25
○○ Toxic stress is associated with increased rates of physical illness such as diabetes,
cancer, posttraumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”), and heart disease, as well as mental
health issues and risky health behaviors.26
○○ These posttraumatic symptoms do not disappear when children are reunited
with their families.27 Children may experience developmental delays28 and poor
psychological adjustment, potentially affecting functioning in school.29
•• A primary factor in recovering from such trauma is reunification with a parent or other
trusted adult. Without the presence of trusted caregivers, children are often unable to cope
with the psychological trauma and stress associated with detention.

“For about my first six months at
the shelter, I was doing okay. But, as
time wore on, I got more and more
depressed about being detained
and not knowing when I would be
released, and I began cutting myself.”
Child
Shiloh Residential Treatment Center, TX

“[E]xpert consensus has concluded
that even brief detention can cause
psychological trauma and induce
long-term mental health risks for
children.”30
American Academy of Pediatrics
Policy Statement
2017

•7•

Current State of Unaccompanied Children
in the United States
Fewer sponsors are coming forward,
leaving children in ORR detention without anywhere to go.
•• Enhanced immigration enforcement and anti-immigrant rhetoric has made potential
sponsors fearful of coming forward to take care of detained children.31
•• ORR now shares sponsor information and fingerprints with Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE). Thus far, ICE has arrested at least 170 people who came forward to
sponsor children.32
○○ In April 2018, ORR, ICE, and CBP signed a Memorandum of Agreement agreeing to
vastly expand the information collected from sponsors and household members and
to share that information between the agencies.33
○○ In May 2018, ICE promulgated regulations permitting it to use ORR sponsor
information for immigration enforcement.
○○ In June 2018, ORR began requiring fingerprint checks of all sponsors and their
household members.34 As detailed below, this policy has since been partially reversed.
•• Due to these policy changes and arrests, potential sponsors are now afraid of being detained
or deported as a result of coming forward to sponsor a child, leaving children without any
viable sponsors to take care of them.

For the sponsors that are coming forward to take care of children, heightened
ORR sponsor requirements result in applications being delayed for long periods
of time or denied altogether with no opportunity to appeal. These requirements
in no way further child safety.
1. New Fingerprinting Policies
•• In June 2018, ORR dramatically changed
the requirements for all adults, including
parents, to sponsor children for release
from ORR custody.35
•• ORR expanded fingerprinting
requirements to include all sponsors
and their household members, which
significantly increased the number
of people who were required to be
fingerprinted as part of the release
process. There was not a corresponding
increase in the capacity of ORR to
process these additional fingerprints.

“I want to live with my mom. My
mom has done everything the
government has asked her to do...
My case manager has told me that
they are waiting on the fingerprints
for my brother to clear because
he lives with my mother. It has
been a month since they had the
fingerprinting done.”
Child
Shiloh Residential Treatment Center, TX

•8•

1. New Fingerprinting Policies (cont.)
•• Fingerprint checks can add weeks and months to the length of time children are detained.
Family members have waited weeks for appointments to have their fingerprints taken at
one of the limited sites ORR has set up, and then waited weeks longer – and in some cases
months longer – for results to be processed. In some cases, sponsors have been told that
their fingerprints have “expired” and they need to re-submit their fingerprints, restarting
the entire process.
•• In December 2018, federal officials announced a partial reversal in policy, admitting that
the new fingerprinting requirements had not demonstrated any benefit to the safety of of
children in ORR custody.36
•• Following the partial reversal of the fingerprinting policy, more than 4,000 children were
released from ORR custody within a span of four weeks – the largest decrease in the
program’s history. After the policy change was implemented, the unlicensed tent city in
Tornillo, Texas was finally shut down.37

“Then, the shelter called to tell me
that my fingerprints had expired, and
I needed to take them again before
they would release [my niece]. I was so
surprised, confused, and upset. I didn’t
know the fingerprints I took could
expire . . .
The shelter has all the information
they need, and they were just about
to release [her] to me. Now we have to
wait, again. This process has taken so
long, and I don’t understand why . . . I
am trying to comfort [my niece], but it
is difficult because I am extremely sad
too.”
Sponsor

“Since the implementation of this
new policy five months ago, ORR
has determined the additional
steps required to fingerprint all
household members has had an
impact on the timely release of
UAC without demonstrated benefit
to the safety of children after their
release from ORR care.”38
Dept. of Health & Human Services
Statement
Dec. 18, 2019

•9•

2. Onerous Sponsor Reunification Requirements
•• Flores counsel have interviewed hundreds of detained children and spoken to many of
their potential sponsors and family members. Over the past few years, Flores counsel
have documented examples of increasingly stringent release requirements for sponsors –
requirements that are not reasonably related to the health and safety of children.
•• Sponsors have been told that children will not be released to their care unless:
○○ They move to a different neighborhood
○○ They move to a larger apartment or house
○○ They reduce the total number of children living in their home
○○ They are able to identify additional sources of income to support the child
○○ They can produce a photo establishing a prior relationship with the child (despite
the fact that many families do not have access to this technology)
○○ They can afford the psychotropic medications that the government has prescribed
○○ They enroll the child in school before the child is released from ORR custody,
when the school will not allow enrollment until the child is in the physical custody
of the sponsor

“My case worker told me that the only
reason that I haven’t been released to
my [sponsor] is because I don’t have
an official birth certificate. My mother
died before she could register me for
an official birth certificate . . . I don’t
know what other documents I could
provide to prove my relationship with
[her].
My case worker once told me that
my case was “perfect” and that I was
“golden” to get released, but I’m still
here.”
Child
Shelter, TX

“My case worker told me I needed
pictures or messages from my sponsor
to be able to go with her. I have no
way of getting that information. I had
never seen a cell phone before I came
to the United States. I barely have any
photos with my mother.”
Child
Homestead, FL

“My sister . . . ORR told me I couldn’t
live with her. I don’t fully understand
why ORR won’t let me live with my
sister, but I think it is because ORR
thinks she doesn’t have enough money.
I would prefer to live with my sister or
family over foster care, and I believe
even poor families have the right to
live together.”
Child
Shelter, CA

• 10 •

3. Inappropriate Release Requirements for Children
•• Flores counsel have spoken to ORR-contracted health providers, who state that they will
not approve the release of a child to a sponsor unless the child is determined to be “stable.”
The irony, of course, is that the child’s mental distress is overwhelmingly due to their
detention and separation from family.
○○ Studies of immigrant children detained in the United States have discovered high
rates of posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and other
behavioral problems.39 These health issues are exacerbated by continued detention
and separation from caregivers.
•• Children have been told that they will not be released unless they agree to take the
psychotropic medications prescribed by ORR-contracted physicians. These medications,
including strong anti-psychotics and anti-depressants, are routinely prescribed to children
without the informed consent of the child’s parent or legal guardian.
•• In 2017, ORR implemented a new policy requiring former ORR Director Scott Lloyd to
personally review and approve the release of any detained immigrant child who was or
had ever been in a heightened placement while in ORR custody.40 In his deposition, Mr.
Lloyd stated that he adopted the director-level review policy within hours of becoming
ORR director without any analysis or a count of the children in his custody that would be
impacted.41 In granting a preliminary injunction enjoining the policy, U.S. District Judge
Paul Crotty noted, “This is at the zenith of impermissible agency actions.”42

“My father is currently trying to
sponsor my release. The case has been
completed. He has completed the home
studies and passed the fingerprinting
and
background
checks.
Despite
this, I have been told that I need a
recommendation from a psychologist
in order to be released.”
Child
Yolo Secure Detention Facility, CA

“I just want my son to come and live
with me. I think that if he is able to live
with me, his mental health will improve
and he will feel much better. [He] is
desperate to get out of detention . . .
Whenever I talk to him on the phone
I am able to help him calm down and
overcome his feelings of anxiety.”

“All of us were angry because the
staff forced us to take medication.
We were told that the medication
consisted of vitamins and that we
had to take them in order to grow .
. . The staff threatened to throw me
on the ground and force me to take
the medication. I also saw staff throw
another youth to the ground, pry his
mouth open and force him to take
the medicine . . . .
They told me that if I did not take
the medicine I could not leave, that
the only way I could get out of Shiloh
was if I took the pills.”
Child
Shiloh Residential Treatment Center, TX

Sponsor, Child’s Father

• 11 •

There is no “surge” at the border that accounts for the skyrocketing number of
children in ORR custody.

	
While the number of unaccompanied children apprehended at the U.S. border has
remained steady, the total population of children in ORR custody has continued to increase.
If the federal government faithfully adhered to the terms of the Settlement, which require
prompt release and licensed placement, then there would be fewer children in ORR custody
and the children in ORR custody would be better protected.

Unaccompanied Children in ORR Custody and
Unaccompanied Children Apprehended at the Border

Total Unaccompanied Children in ORR Custody

Total Unaccompanied Children Apprehended at the Border

*Note: The significant decrease between December 2018 and January 2019 occurred after
the government’s partial rollback of the fingerprinting policy, which allowed more than
4,000 children to be released to their families.

Data Sources:
•	

“Total Unaccompanied Children in ORR Custody” – ORR data provided to Flores counsel,
pursuant to the Flores Settlement Agreement.

•	

“Total Unaccompanied Children Apprehended at the Border” – CBP data (U.S. Customs
and Border Patrol, Southwest Border Migration FY2019, available at https://www.cbp.gov/
newsroom/stats/sw-border-migration).

• 12 •

ORR is distorting the Settlement’s emergency provisions to detain children in
unlicensed facilities for extended amounts of time.
	
In 2018, the federal government placed unaccompanied children at two “emergency influx”
facilities: a facility in Homestead, Florida, and a tent city in Tornillo, Texas. In contrast to the
comprehensive requirements of state child welfare licensure, ORR requirements for “Influx
Care Facilities” are extremely limited.43

Homestead
•• Although ORR describes Homestead as a “temporary emergency influx shelter,” ORR data
show that children are being held there for far longer than 20 days: as of mid-January,
more than 140 children had spent 100 days or more at Homestead, and 26 children had
spent 200 days or more at Homestead. On February 13, 2019, HHS reported that the
average length of stay for children held at Homestead is 67 days.44
•• According to the government, more than 1,600 children are detained at Homestead,45 and
the facility has been recently expanded to house 2,350 children.
•• According to HHS, the average daily cost to care for a child at an “influx” facility such as
Homestead is $775 per day, about three times the cost of a licensed shelter placement.46

“I also get huge headaches because I feel
like I can’t cry here. I wish I could cry here
but I can’t cry comfortably. I have to hold
my tears because if not they send me to the
clinician. I don’t want to go to the clinician
because they don’t want to help my case . . . .

“I feel very desperate because
my case with my sponsor to get
me out of here is moving very
slowly. I have never seen my case
worker since I arrived here. . . .

I also want to try to hug my girlfriends when
they are crying, but [staff ] won’t let me.”

When I feel really sad, I want
to leave running. I get very
desperate.”

Child
Homestead, FL

Child
Homestead, FL

Tornillo
•• When Tornillo was open, it held nearly
3,000 children in white canvas tents in the
Texas desert.47
•• ORR waived FBI background checks for all
staff at Tornillo.48
•• Visits to Tornillo by U.S. Senators and
Representatives were instrumental in calling
public attention to the dire situation.
•• After the government partially reversed the
fingerprint policy, ORR was able to close the
facility.49

“There are about 31 girls in the
tent with me. There is no privacy.
We aren’t allowed to hug each
other or touch in any way.
Every day I feel sad. I don’t have
freedom to leave here. All I want
is to be with my family.”
Child
Tornillo, TX

• 13 •

The protections provided by the Flores Settlement Agreement are under attack.
•• Dismantling the Flores Settlement Agreement is a key goal of this administration’s
immigration agenda.
○○ In a letter to Congress on January 4, 2019 about border security, President Trump
listed “[t]erminate the Flores Settlement Agreement” as the most pressing legal
change desired by his Administration.50 In his State of the Union Address, President
Trump described immigrant children as violent gang members who “took
advantage of glaring loopholes in our laws to enter the country as unaccompanied
alien minors.”51
•• The Department of Homeland Security and Department of Health and Human Services
published a notice of proposed rulemaking and regulations to replace the Flores
Settlement.52
○○ As written, the proposed rule is inconsistent with the settlement and would
completely dismantle the current Flores standards – allowing federal agencies to
expand family detention centers, increase the length of time that children spend in
detention, and create an alternative licensing process that undermines state child
welfare laws and basic protections for children.
○○ As of mid-February, the final regulations had not yet been published.
•• Members of Congress have introduced multiple bills aimed at undermining the
Settlement’s requirements.

• 14 •

Solutions
	
The fundamental principles established by the Flores Settlement Agreement are critical to
providing basic protections for detained immigrant children and must be defended. Congress has
the ability to intervene and protect these vulnerable children by taking the following action.

1.	 Protect and codify the principles established by the Flores Settlement Agreement.
•	 Reject legislative proposals that undermine or eliminate the Flores Settlement
Agreement.
•	 Support legislative proposals that codify the requirements of the Flores Settlement
Agreement.
2.	 Ensure ORR adheres to the Flores Settlement Agreement.
•	 Use congressional oversight authority to ensure that:
○○ Policies and practices do not interfere with timely release.
○○ Children are not held for prolonged periods of time in unlicensed detention
facilities.
○○ Children are placed in the least restrictive setting and are provided with needed
services and supports.
•	 In the event of a true emergency, ensure that ORR does not use influx facilities to
detain children any longer than is truly necessary before transferring them to licensed
dependent care facilities.
•	 In the event that there is no true emergency, ensure that the government does not open
up influx facilities.
3.	 Support policies that encourage sponsors in coming forward to take custody of detained
children.
•	 Eliminate the sharing of information between ORR and ICE for immigration
enforcement purposes.
•	 Encourage legislative proposals that explicitly provide potential sponsors with
protection against immigration enforcement.
•	 Encourage legislative proposals that provide sponsors and released children with needed
services and supports.
4.	 Support policies that streamline the reunification process for children and sponsors and
reflect reasonable requirements for release.
•	 Require ORR to standardize sponsor requirements, such that individual facilities may
not impose requirements that are unnecessarily burdensome and do not protect the
safety of children.
•	 Require ORR to standardize requirements for children to be released, such that children
are not detained indefinitely in order to ensure that they have been “stabilized” prior to
release.
•	 Require ORR to evaluate a proposed sponsor’s fitness with reasonable dispatch. State and
local child protective services routinely conclude investigations into custodians’ fitness
within two or three weeks. From the standpoint of child welfare, there is no reason for
ORR to take several months to evaluate available sponsors, during which the trauma
detention inflicts on children only compounds.

• 15 •

Solutions
5.	 Increase ORR’s capacity to expeditiously reunite families.
•	 Require ORR to maintain reasonable ratios between youth and Federal Field
Specialists. Where necessary, hire more Federal Field Specialists to oversee the release
process.
•	 Require ORR to maintain reasonable ratios between youth and Case Management
Specialists. Where necessary, hire more Case Management Specialists to facilitate the
release process.
•	 Require ORR to improve training for Case Management Specialists to allow for more
expeditious processing of reunification applications.
6.	 Protect unaccompanied children by legislating due process protections that support the
Flores Settlement Agreement.
•	 Develop legislative solutions that create meaningful due process protections for
potential sponsors who are denied custody of an unaccompanied child.
•	 Develop legislative solutions that create meaningful due process protections for
detained children who are “stepped-up” to higher-security ORR facilities.

• 16 •

Conclusion
	The Flores Settlement Agreement plays a critical role in protecting the safety and welfare
of unaccompanied children in federal immigration custody. Recently, the government has
violated the Settlement repeatedly – and the Trump Administration has indicated that it wants
to get rid of the Settlement entirely. While Flores Counsel and other legal organizations will
continue to bring actions to enforce the letter and spirit of the Flores Agreement, it is vital that
Congress play its role to ensure that the government of the United States lives up to its legal
and moral obligations to the children in its care.

Attachments
1.	 The Flores Settlement Agreement
2.	 Relevant Media
•	

Caregivers for 3,600 Migrant Teens Reportedly Lack Complete Abuse Checks, CBS News,
Dec. 8, 2018, available at https://www.cbsnews.com/news/caregivers-for-3600migrant-teens-reportedly-lack-complete-abuse-checks/.

•	

Florida Shelter Is Scrutinized For The Way It Handles Migrant Children, National Public
Radio, Feb. 13, 2019, available at https://www.npr.org/2019/02/13/694175061/floridashelter-is-scrutinized-for-the-way-it-handles-migrant-children.

•	

12-year-old immigrant prescribed antidepressants in shelter due to distress over family
separation, lawsuit alleges, Washington Post, June 29, 2018, available at https://
www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/immigrant-minor-distraughtover-family-separation-is-prescribed-antidepressants-in-us-shelter-lawsuitalleges/2018/06/29/4386420a-7ba7-11e8-93cc-6d3beccdd7a3_story.html?utm_
term=.3c51febe2666.

•	

Thousands of Migrant Children Could Be Released with Trump’s Major Policy Reversal,
Texas Monthly, Dec. 18, 2018, available at https://www.texasmonthly.com/news/
trump-fingerprint-policy-change-reduce-migrant-children-detention-tornillo/.

• 17 •

Endnotes
1.	

Unaccompanied children are children under 18 who arrive at the border without a parent or guardian
or who have no parent or legal guardian in the U.S. available to provide care and physical custody. See 6
U.S.C. § 279(g)(2).

2.	 Settlement ¶ 14.
3.	 Settlement ¶ 11.
4.	 Settlement ¶ 19.
5.	 Settlement, Exhibit 1.
6.	 Settlement ¶ 6.
7.	 Order Re: Plaintiff’s Motion to Enforce Settlement, Flores v. Lynch, at 12 (C.D. Cal. July 24, 2015).
8.	 Settlement ¶ 21.
9.	 See Flores v. Lynch, 212 F. Supp. 3d 907, 914 (C.D. Cal. 2015), aff’d in part, rev’d in part and remanded, 828 F.3d
898 (9th Cir. 2016).
10.	 Settlement ¶ 21.
11.	 Settlement ¶ 10.
12.	 Settlement Definition 6; ¶ 19.
13.	 Settlement ¶ 12B(3).
14.	 Order Re: Plaintiff’s Motion to Enforce Settlement, Flores v. Johnson, 212 F. Supp. 3d 864, 877 (C.D. Cal.
2015).
15.	 Robert Moore, Thousands of Migrant Children Could Be Released with Trump’s Major Policy Reversal, Texas
Monthly, Dec. 18, 2018, available at https://www.texasmonthly.com/news/trump-fingerprint-policychange-reduce-migrant-children-detention-tornillo/.
16.	 See National Conference of State Legislatures, The Child Welfare Placement Continuum: What’s Best for
Children?, Jan. 5, 2016, available at http://www.ncsl.org/research/human-services/the-child-welfareplacement-continuum-what-s-best-for-children.aspx.
17.	 Casey Family Programs, What are the Outcomes for Youth Placed in Congregate Care Settings?, Feb. 5, 2018,
available at https://www.casey.org/what-are-the-outcomes-for-youth-placed-in-congregate-caresettings/.
18.	 See U.S. Dep’t of Health & Human Servs., State Licensing Specialists, available at https://www.
childwelfare.gov/organizations/?CWIGFunctionsaction=rols:main.dspList&rolType=Custom&RS_
ID=157&rList=RCL.
19.	 Order Re: Plaintiff’s Motion to Enforce Settlement, Flores v. Lynch, at 14 (C.D. Cal. July 24, 2015) (emphasis
added).
20.	 See Tex. Child Care Licensing, Health & Human Serv. Comm’n, Minimum Standards for General Residential
Operations, July 29, 2019, available at https://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Child_Care/documents/Standards_
and_Regulations/748_GRO.pdf.
21.	 Joshua Barajas & Amna Nawaz, The Tornillo Shelter for Migrant Children was Supposed to Close After 30 Days.
Here’s why it’s still open, PBS News Hour, Nov. 29, 2018, available at https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/
the-tornillo-shelter-for-migrant-children-was-supposed-to-close-after-30-days-heres-why-its-stillopen.
22.	 See Barry Holman & Jason Ziedenberg, Justice Policy Institute, The Dangers of Detention: The Impact
of Incarcerating Youth in Detention and Other Secure Facilities (2006), available at http://www.
justicepolicy.org/uploads/justicepolicy/documents/dangers_of_detention.pdf.
23.	 National Research Council, Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach, Washington, DC: The
National Academies Press, at 102 (2013).
24.	 Charles Baily et al., The Psychosocial Context of Mental Health Needs of Unaccompanied Children in
United States Immigration Proceedings, 13 Graduate Student J. Psychol. 4 (2011).

• 18 •

25.	 American Academy of Pediatrics, AAP Statement Opposing Separation of Children and Parents at the
Border, May 8, 2018, available at https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/
StatementOpposingSeparationofChildrenandParents.aspx.
26.	 Samantha Artiga & Petry Ubri, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Living in an Immigrant Family
in America: How Fear and Toxic Stress Are Affecting Daily Life, Well-Being, & Health, Dec. 13, 2017,
available at http://files.kff. org/attachment/Issue-Brief-Living-in-an-Immigrant-Family-in-America.
27.	 Rachel Kronick, Cecile Rousseau & Janet Cleveland, Asylum-seeking Children’s Experiences of Detention in
Canada: A Qualitative Study, 85 Am. J. Orthopsychiatry 287 (2015).
28.	 Michael Dudley et al., Children and Young People in Immigration Detention, 25 Current Opinion Psychiatry
285 (2012).
29.	 Mina Fazel & Alan Stein, Mental Health of Refugee Children: Comparative Study, 327 Boston Med. J. 134
(2003).
30.	 Julie M. Linton, Marsha Griffin & Alan J. Shapiro, Detention of Immigrant Children, Policy Statement, 139
Pediatrics 5 (2017).
31.	 Assertions are based on Flores counsel’s conversations with multiple children’s immigration attorneys,
detained children, and children’s potential sponsors over the past few years.
32.	 Danielle Silva, ICE Arrested 170 Immigrants Seeking to Sponsor Migrant Children, NBC News, Dec. 11, 2018,
available at https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna946621?__twitter_impression=true&fbclid=IwAR
2GIylVz6scXpWu6Xh_zux3MFNWmDE5e2TqZoRam9oshAbl53_XcP210mE.
33.	 Memorandum of Agreement Among the Office of Refugee Resettlement of the U.S. Dep’t of Health & Human Servs.
& U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement & U.S. Customs & Border Protection of the U.S. Dep’t of Homeland
Security Regarding Consultation and Information Sharing in Unaccompanied Alien Children Matters, April 13,
2018, available at https://www.texasmonthly.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Read-the-Memo-ofAgreement.pdf.
34.	 See, Robert Moore, Relatives of Separated Children are Now in ICE’s Sights, Texas Monthly, June 23,
2018, available at https://www.texasmonthly.com/news/agency-overseeing-separated-kids-tellingimmigration-officials-claiming-children/.
35.	 Office of Refugee Resettlement, 2.6.2 Fingerprints, Updated June 7, 2018, available at https://www.acf.hhs.
gov/orr/resource/children-entering-the-united-states-unaccompanied-section-2.
36.	 Robert Moore, Thousands of Migrant Children Could be Released with Trump’s Major Policy Reversal, Texas
Monthly, Dec. 18, 2018, available at https://www.texasmonthly.com/news/trump-fingerprint-policychange-reduce-migrant-children-detention-tornillo/.
37.	 Ray Sanchez and Dianne Gallagher, All Migrant Children Transferred from Controversial Texas Tent Camp,
CNN, January 11, 2019, available at https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/11/us/tornillo-shelter-migrantchildren/index.html.
38.	 Robert Moore, Thousands of Migrant Children Could be Released with Trump’s Major Policy Reversal, Texas
Monthly, Dec. 18, 2018, available at https://www.texasmonthly.com/news/trump-fingerprint-policychange-reduce-migrant-children-detention-tornillo/.
39.	 Charles Baily et al., The Psychosocial Context of Mental Health Needs of Unaccompanied Children in
United States Immigration Proceedings, 13 Graduate Student J. Psychol. 4 (2011).
40.	 Scott Lloyd, Statement of Scott Lloyd, Director, Office of Refugee Resettlement, Administration for Children and
Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Before the Committee on the Judiciary United States
Senate, June 21, 2017, available at https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/06-21-17%20Lloyd%20
Testimony.pdf.
41.	 New York Civil Liberties Union, Court Halts Trump Administration Policy Prolonging Detention of Hundreds of
Migrant Children, June 27, 2018, available at https://www.nyclu.org/en/press-releases/court-halts-trumpadministration-policy-prolonging-detention-hundreds-immigrant.
42.	 L.V.M. v. Lloyd, No. 18-cv-1453, at 4 (S.D.N.Y. June 27, 2018).
43.	 See Office of Refugee Resettlement, ORR Guide: Children Entering the United States Unaccompanied, 1.7.6.
HPC and Influx Care Facility Services, Last updated March 21, 2017, available at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/
orr/resource/children-entering-the-united-states-unaccompanied-section-1#1.7.

• 19 •

44.	 U.S. Dep’t Health & Human Servs., Fact Sheet: Unaccompanied Alien Children sheltered at Homestead Job
Corps Site, Homestead, Florida, Feb. 13, 2019, available at https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/
Unaccompanied-Alien-Children-Sheltered-at-Homestead.pdf.
45.	 Id.
46.	 John Burnett, Inside the Largest and Most Controversial Shelter for Migrant Children in the U.S., NPR,
Feb. 13, 2019, available at https://www.npr.org/2019/02/13/694138106/inside-the-largest-and-mostcontroversial-shelter-for-migrant-children-in-the-u-.
47.	 John Burnett, Tent City Housing Migrant Children to Close as Kids Are Released to Sponsors, NPR, Jan. 4, 2019,
available at https://www.npr.org/2019/01/04/682437566/tent-city-housing-migrant-children-to-close-askids-are-released-to-sponsors.
48.	 Garance Burke & Martha Mendoza, U.S. Waived FBI Checks on Staff at Growing Teen Migrant Camp,
Associated Press, Nov. 27, 2018, available at https://www.apnews.com/0c62b088c27147b0a6055d1e8394a3
af.
49.	 Ray Sanchez & Dianne Gallagher, All Migrant Children Transferred from Controversial Texas Tent Camp,
CNN, January 11, 2019, available at https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/11/us/tornillo-shelter-migrantchildren/index.html.
50.	 White House, President Trump Sends a Letter on Border Security to Congress, Jan. 4, 2019, available at https://
www.whitehouse.gov/articles/president-trump-sends-letter-border-security/.
51.	 White House, President Donald J. Trump’s State of the Union Address, January 30, 2018, available at https://
www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trumps-state-union-address/.
52.	 Apprehension, Processing, Care, and Custody of Alien Minors and Unaccompanied Alien Children, 83 FR 45486,
available at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/09/07/2018-19052/apprehensionprocessing-care-and-custody-of-alien-minors-and-unaccompanied-alien-children.

• 20 •

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

JENNY LISETTE FLORES, et al, Plaintiffs
v.
JANET RENO, Attorney General of the United States, et al., Defendants
Case No. CV 85-4544-RJK(Px)

STIPULATED SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
WHEREAS, Plaintiffs have filed this action against Defendants, challenging, inter alia, the constitutionality
of Defendants' policies, practices and regulations regarding the detention and release of unaccompanied
minors taken into the custody of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in the Western Region;
and
WHEREAS, the district court has certified this case as a class action on behalf of all minors apprehended
by the INS in the Western Region of the United States; and
WHEREAS, this litigation has been pending for nine (9) years, all parties have conducted extensive
discovery, and the United States Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the challenged INS
regulations on their face and has remanded for further proceedings consistent with its opinion; and
WHEREAS, on November 30, 1987, the parties reached a settlement agreement requiring that minors in
INS custody in the Western Region be housed in facilities meeting certain standards, including state
standards for the housing and care of dependent children, and Plaintiffs' motion to enforce compliance
with that settlement is currently pending before the court; and
WHEREAS, a trial in this case would be complex, lengthy and costly to all parties concerned, and the
decision of the district court would be subject to appeal by the losing parties with the final outcome
uncertain; and
WHEREAS, the parties believe that settlement of this action is in their best interests and best serves the
interests of justice by avoiding a complex, lengthy and costly trial, and subsequent appeals which could
last several more years;

NOW, THEREFORE, Plaintiffs and Defendants enter into this Stipulated Settlement Agreement (the
Agreement), stipulate that it constitutes a full and complete resolution of the issues raised in this action,
and agree to the following:
I DEFINITIONS
As used throughout this Agreement the following definitions shall apply:
1. The term "party" or "parties" shall apply to Defendants and Plaintiffs. As the term applies to
Defendants, it shall include their agents, employees, contractors and/or successors in office. As the term
applies to Plaintiffs, it shall include all class members.
2. The term "Plaintiff" or "Plaintiffs" shall apply to the named plaintiffs and all class members.
3. The term "class member" or "class members" shall apply to the persons defined in Paragraph 10
below.
4. The term "minor" shall apply to any person under the age of eighteen (18) years who is detained in the
legal custody of the INS. This Agreement shall cease to apply to any person who has reached the age of
eighteen years. The term "minor" shall not include an emancipated minor or an individual who has been
incarcerated due to a conviction for a criminal offense as an adult. The INS shall treat all persons who are
under the age of eighteen but not included within the definition of "minor" as adults for all purposes,
including release on bond or recognizance.
5. The term "emancipated minor" shall refer to any minor who has been determined to be emancipated in
an appropriate state judicial proceeding.
6. The term "licensed program" shall refer to any program, agency or organization that is licensed by an
appropriate State agency to provide residential, group, or foster care services for dependent children,
including a program operating group homes, foster homes, or facilities for special needs minors. A
licensed program must also meet those standards for licensed programs set forth in Exhibit 1 attached
hereto. All homes and facilities operated by licensed programs, including facilities for special needs
minors, shall be non-secure as required under state law; provided, however, that a facility for special
needs minors may maintain that level of security permitted under state law which is necessary for the
protection of a minor or others in appropriate circumstances, e.g., cases in which a minor has drug or
alcohol problems or is mentally ill. The INS shall make reasonable efforts to provide licensed placements
in those geographical areas where the majority of minors are apprehended, such as southern California,
southeast Texas, southern Florida and the northeast corridor.

7. The term "special needs minor" shall refer to a minor whose mental and/or physical condition requires
special services and treatment by staff. A minor may have special needs due to drug or alcohol abuse,
serious emotional disturbance, mental illness or retardation, or a physical condition or chronic illness that
requires special services or treatment. A minor who has suffered serious neglect or abuse may be
considered a minor with special needs if the minor requires special services or treatment as a result of the
neglect or abuse. The INS shall assess minors to determine if they have special needs and, if so, shall
place such minors, whenever possible, in licensed programs in which the INS places children without
special needs, but which provide services and treatment for such special needs.
8. The term "medium security facility" shall refer to a facility that is operated by a program, agency or
organization licensed by an appropriate State agency and that meets those standards set forth in Exhibit
1 attached hereto. A medium security facility is designed for minors who require close supervision but do
not need placement in juvenile correctional facilities. It provides 24-hour awake supervision, custody,
care, and treatment. It maintains stricter security measures, such as intensive staff supervision, than a
facility operated by a licensed program in order to control problem behavior and to prevent escape. Such
a facility may have a secure perimeter but shall not be equipped internally with major restraining
construction or procedures typically associated with correctional facilities.
II SCOPE OF SETTLEMENT, EFFECTIVE DATE, AND PUBLICATION
9. This Agreement sets out nationwide policy for the detention, release, and treatment of minors in the
custody of the INS and shall supersede all previous INS policies that are inconsistent with the terms of
this Agreement. This Agreement shall become effective upon final court approval, except that those terms
of this Agreement regarding placement pursuant to Paragraph 19 shall not become effective until all
contracts under the Program Announcement referenced in Paragraph 20 below are negotiated and
implemented. The INS shall make its best efforts to execute these contracts within 120 days after the
court's final approval of this Agreement. However, the INS will make reasonable efforts to comply with
Paragraph 19 prior to full implementation of all such contracts. Once all contracts under the Program
Announcement referenced in Paragraph 20 have been implemented, this Agreement shall supersede the
agreement entitled Memorandum of Understanding Re Compromise of Class Action: Conditions of
Detention (hereinafter "MOU"), entered into by and between the Plaintiffs and Defendants and filed with
the United States District Court for the Central District of California on November 30, 1987, and the MOU
shall thereafter be null and void. However, Plaintiffs shall not institute any legal action for enforcement of
the MOU for a six (6) month period commencing with the final district court approval of this Agreement,
except that Plaintiffs may institute enforcement proceedings if the Defendants have engaged in serious
violations of the MOU that have caused irreparable harm to a class member for which injunctive relief
would be appropriate. Within 120 days of the final district court approval of this Agreement, the INS shall

initiate action to publish the relevant and substantive terms of this Agreement as a Service regulation.
The final regulations shall not be inconsistent with the terms of this Agreement. Within 30 days of final
court approval of this Agreement, the INS shall distribute to all INS field offices and sub-offices
instructions regarding the processing, treatment, and placement of juveniles. Those instructions shall
include, but may not be limited to, the provisions summarizing the terms of the Agreement attached
hereto as Exhibit 2.
III CLASS DEFINITION
10. The certified class in this action shall be defined as follows: "All minors who are detained in the legal
custody of the INS."
IV STATEMENTS OF GENERAL APPLICABILITY
11. The INS treats, and shall continue to treat, all minors in its custody with dignity, respect and special
concern for their particular vulnerability as minors. The INS shall place each detained minor in the least
restrictive setting appropriate to the minor's age and special needs, provided that such setting is
consistent with its interests to ensure the minor's timely appearance before the INS and the immigration
courts and to protect the minor's well-being and that of others. Nothing herein shall require the INS to
release a minor to any person or agency whom the INS has reason to believe may harm or neglect the
minor or fail to present him or her before the INS or the immigration courts when requested to do so.
V PROCEDURES AND TEMPORARY PLACEMENT FOLLOWING ARREST
12. Whenever the INS takes a minor into custody, it shall expeditiously process the minor and shall
provide the minor with a notice of rights, including the right to a bond redetermination hearing if
applicable. Following arrest, the INS shall hold minors in facilities that are safe and sanitary and that are
consistent with the INS's concern for the particular vulnerability of minors. Facilities will provide access to
toilets and sinks, drinking water and food as appropriate, medical assistance if the minor is in need of
emergency services, adequate temperature control and ventilation, adequate supervision to protect
minors from others, and contact with family members who were arrested with the minor. The INS will
segregate unaccompanied minors from unrelated adults. Where such segregation is not immediately
possible, an unaccompanied minor will not be detained with an unrelated adult for more than 24 hours. If
there is no one to whom the INS may release the minor pursuant to Paragraph 14, and no appropriate
licensed program is immediately available for placement pursuant to Paragraph 19, the minor may be
placed in an INS detention facility, or other INS-contracted facility, having separate accommodations for
minors, or a State or county juvenile detention facility. However, minors shall be separated from
delinquent offenders. Every effort must be taken to ensure that the safety and well-being of the minors
detained in these facilities are satisfactorily provided for by the staff. The INS will transfer a minor from a
placement under this paragraph to a placement under Paragraph 19 (i) within three (3) days, if the minor

was apprehended in an INS district in which a licensed program is located and has space available; or (ii)
within five (5) days in all other cases; except:
1. as otherwise provided under Paragraph 13 or Paragraph 21;
2. as otherwise required by any court decree or court-approved settlement;
3. in the event of an emergency or influx of minors into the United States, in which case the INS
shall place all minors pursuant to Paragraph 19 as expeditiously as possible; or
4. where individuals must be transported from remote areas for processing or speak unusual
languages such that the INS must locate interpreters in order to complete processing, in which
case the INS shall place all such minors pursuant to Paragraph 19 within five (5) business days.
B. For purposes of this Paragraph, the term "emergency" shall be defined as any act or event that
prevents the placement of minors pursuant to Paragraph 19 within the time frame provided. Such
emergencies include natural disasters (e.g., earthquakes, hurricanes, etc.), facility fires, civil disturbances,
and medical emergencies (e.g., a chicken pox epidemic among a group of minors). The term "influx of
minors into the United States" shall be defined as those circumstances where the INS has, at any given
time, more than 130 minors eligible for placement in a licensed program under Paragraph 19, including
those who have been so placed or are awaiting such placement.
C. In preparation for an "emergency" or "influx," as described in Subparagraph B, the INS shall have a
written plan that describes the reasonable efforts that it will take to place all minors as expeditiously as
possible. This plan shall include the identification of 80 beds that are potentially available for INS
placements and that are licensed by an appropriate State agency to provide residential, group, or foster
care services for dependent children. The plan, without identification of the additional beds available, is
attached as Exhibit 3. The INS shall not be obligated to fund these additional beds on an ongoing basis.
The INS shall update this listing of additional beds on a quarterly basis and provide Plaintiffs' counsel with
a copy of this listing.
13. If a reasonable person would conclude that an alien detained by the INS is an adult despite his claims
to be a minor, the INS shall treat the person as an adult for all purposes, including confinement and
release on bond or recognizance. The INS may require the alien to submit to a medical or dental
examination conducted by a medical professional or to submit to other appropriate procedures to verify
his or her age. If the INS subsequently determines that such an individual is a minor, he or she will be
treated as a minor in accordance with this Agreement for all purposes.
VI GENERAL POLICY FAVORING RELEASE

14. Where the INS determines that the detention of the minor is not required either to secure his or her
timely appearance before the INS or the immigration court, or to ensure the minor's safety or that of
others, the INS shall release a minor from its custody without unnecessary delay, in the following order of
preference, to:
A. a parent;
B. a legal guardian;
C. an adult relative (brother, sister, aunt, uncle, or grandparent);
D. an adult individual or entity designated by the parent or legal guardian as capable and
willing to care for the minor's well-being in (i) a declaration signed under penalty of perjury
before an immigration or consular officer or (ii) such other document(s) that establish(es) to
the satisfaction of the INS, in its discretion, the affiant's paternity or guardianship;
E. a licensed program willing to accept legal custody; or
F. an adult individual or entity seeking custody, in the discretion of the INS, when it appears
that there is no other likely alternative to long term detention and family reunification does not
appear to be a reasonable possibility.
15. Before a minor is released from INS custody pursuant to Paragraph 14 above, the custodian must
execute an Affidavit of Support (Form I-134) and an agreement to:
A. provide for the minor's physical, mental, and financial well-being;
B. ensure the minor's presence at all future proceedings before the INS and the immigration
court;
C. notify the INS of any change of address within five (5) days following a move;
D. in the case of custodians other than parents or legal guardians, not transfer custody of the
minor to another party without the prior written permission of the District Director;
E. notify the INS at least five days prior to the custodian's departing the United States of such
departure, whether the departure is voluntary or pursuant to a grant of voluntary departure or
order of deportation; and
F. if dependency proceedings involving the minor are initiated, notify the INS of the initiation of a
such proceedings and the dependency court of any immigration proceedings pending against the
minor.

In the event of an emergency, a custodian may transfer temporary physical custody of a minor prior to
securing permission from the INS but shall notify the INS of the transfer as soon as is practicable
thereafter, but in all cases within 72 hours. For purposes of this Paragraph, examples of an "emergency"
shall include the serious illness of the custodian, destruction of the home, etc. In all cases where the
custodian in writing seeks written permission for a transfer, the District Director shall promptly respond to
the request.
16. The INS may terminate the custody arrangements and assume legal custody of any minor whose
custodian fails to comply with the agreement required under Paragraph 15. The INS, however, shall not
terminate the custody arrangements for minor violations of that part of the custodial agreement outlined at
Subparagraph 15.C above.
17. A positive suitability assessment may be required prior to release to any individual or program
pursuant to Paragraph 14. A suitability assessment may include such components as an investigation of
the living conditions in which the minor would be placed and the standard of care he would receive,
verification of identity and employment of the individuals offering support, interviews of members of the
household, and a home visit. Any such assessment should also take into consideration the wishes and
concerns of the minor.
18. Upon taking a minor into custody, the INS, or the licensed program in which the minor is placed, shall
make and record the prompt and continuous efforts on its part toward family reunification and the release
of the minor pursuant to Paragraph 14 above. Such efforts at family reunification shall continue so long as
the minor is in INS custody.
VII INS CUSTODY
19. In any case in which the INS does not release a minor pursuant to Paragraph 14, the minor shall
remain in INS legal custody. Except as provided in Paragraphs 12 or 21, such minor shall be placed
temporarily in a licensed program until such time as release can be effected in accordance with
Paragraph 14 above or until the minor's immigration proceedings are concluded, whichever occurs
earlier. All minors placed in such a licensed program remain in the legal custody of the INS and may only
be transferred or released under the authority of the INS; provided, however, that in the event of an
emergency a licensed program may transfer temporary physical custody of a minor prior to securing
permission from the INS but shall notify the INS of the transfer as soon as is practicable thereafter, but in
all cases within 8 hours.
20. Within 60 days of final court approval of this Agreement, the INS shall authorize the United States
Department of Justice Community Relations Service to publish in the Commerce Business Daily and/or

the Federal Register a Program Announcement to solicit proposals for the care of 100 minors in licensed
programs.
21. A minor may be held in or transferred to a suitable State or county juvenile detention facility or a
secure INS detention facility, or INS-contracted facility, having separate accommodations for minors
whenever the District Director or Chief Patrol Agent determines that the minor:
A. has been charged with, is chargeable, or has been convicted of a crime, or is the subject of
delinquency proceedings, has been adjudicated delinquent, or is chargeable with a delinquent
act; provided, however, that this provision shall not apply to any minor whose offense(s) fall(s)
within either of the following categories:
i. Isolated offenses that (1) were not within a pattern or practice of criminal activity
and (2) did not involve violence against a person or the use or carrying of a weapon
(Examples: breaking and entering, vandalism, DUI, etc. This list is not exhaustive.);
ii. Petty offenses, which are not considered grounds for stricter means of detention in
any case (Examples: shoplifting, joy riding, disturbing the peace, etc. This list is not
exhaustive.);
As used in this paragraph, "chargeable" means that the INS has probable cause to believe that
the individual has committed a specified offense;
B. has committed, or has made credible threats to commit, a violent or malicious act (whether
directed at himself or others) while in INS legal custody or while in the presence of an INS officer;
C. has engaged, while in a licensed program, in conduct that has proven to be unacceptably
disruptive of the normal functioning of the licensed program in which he or she has been placed
and removal is necessary to ensure the welfare of the minor or others, as determined by the staff
of the licensed program (Examples: drug or alcohol abuse, stealing, fighting, intimidation of
others, etc. This list is not exhaustive.);
D. is an escape-risk; or
E. must be held in a secure facility for his or her own safety, such as when the INS has reason to
believe that a smuggler would abduct or coerce a particular minor to secure payment of
smuggling fees.

22. The term "escape-risk" means that there is a serious risk that the minor will attempt to escape from
custody. Factors to consider when determining whether a minor is an escape-risk or not include, but are
not limited to, whether:
A. the minor is currently under a final order of deportation or exclusion;
B. the minor's immigration history includes: a prior breach of a bond; a failure to appear before
the INS or the immigration court; evidence that the minor is indebted to organized smugglers for
his transport; or a voluntary departure or a previous removal from the United States pursuant to a
final order of deportation or exclusion;
C. the minor has previously absconded or attempted to abscond from INS custody.
23. The INS will not place a minor in a secure facility pursuant to Paragraph 21 if there are less restrictive
alternatives that are available and appropriate in the circumstances, such as transfer to (a) a medium
security facility which would provide intensive staff supervision and counseling services or (b) another
licensed program. All determinations to place a minor in a secure facility will be reviewed and approved
by the regional juvenile coordinator.
24A. A minor in deportation proceedings shall be afforded a bond redetermination hearing before an
immigration judge in every case, unless the minor indicates on the Notice of Custody Determination form
that he or she refuses such a hearing.
B. Any minor who disagrees with the INS's determination to place that minor in a particular type of facility,
or who asserts that the licensed program in which he or she has been placed does not comply with the
standards set forth in Exhibit 1 attached hereto, may seek judicial review in any United States District
Court with jurisdiction and venue over the matter to challenge that placement determination or to allege
noncompliance with the standards set forth in Exhibit 1. In such an action, the United States District Court
shall be limited to entering an order solely affecting the individual claims of the minor bringing the action.
C. In order to permit judicial review of Defendants' placement decisions as provided in this Agreement,
Defendants shall provide minors not placed in licensed programs with a notice of the reasons for housing
the minor in a detention or medium security facility. With respect to placement decisions reviewed under
this paragraph, the standard of review for the INS's exercise of its discretion shall be the abuse of
discretion standard of review. With respect to all other matters for which this paragraph provides judicial
review, the standard of review shall be de novo review.

D. The INS shall promptly provide each minor not released with (a) INS Form I-770; (b) an explanation of
the right of judicial review as set out in Exhibit 6, and (c) the list of free legal services providers compiled
pursuant to INS regulation (unless previously given to the minor).
E. Exhausting the procedures established in Paragraph 37 of this Agreement shall not be a precondition
to the bringing of an action under this paragraph in any United District Court. Prior to initiating any such
action, however, the minor and/or the minors' attorney shall confer telephonically or in person with the
United States Attorney's office in the judicial district where the action is to be filed, in an effort to informally
resolve the minor's complaints without the need of federal court intervention.
VIII TRANSPORTATION OF MINORS
25. Unaccompanied minors arrested or taken into custody by the INS should not be transported by the
INS in vehicles with detained adults except
A. when being transported from the place of arrest or apprehension to an INS office, or
B. where separate transportation would be otherwise impractical.
When transported together pursuant to Clause (B) minors shall be separated from adults. The INS shall
take necessary precautions for the protection of the well-being of such minors when transported with
adults.
26. The INS shall assist without undue delay in making transportation arrangements to the INS office
nearest the location of the person or facility to whom a minor is to be released pursuant to Paragraph 14.
The INS may, in its discretion, provide transportation to minors.
IX TRANSFER OF MINORS
27. Whenever a minor is transferred from one placement to another, the minor shall be transferred with all
of his or her possessions and legal papers; provided, however, that if the minor's possessions exceed the
amount permitted normally by the carrier in use, the possessions will be shipped to the minor in a timely
manner. No minor who is represented by counsel shall be transferred without advance notice to such
counsel, except in unusual and compelling circumstances such as where the safety of the minor or others
is threatened or the minor has been determined to be an escape-risk, or where counsel has waived such
notice, in which cases notice shall be provided to counsel within 24 hours following transfer.
X MONITORING AND REPORTS
28A. An INS Juvenile Coordinator in the Office of the Assistant Commissioner for Detention and
Deportation shall monitor compliance with the terms of this Agreement and shall maintain an up-to-date

record of all minors who are placed in proceedings and remain in INS custody for longer than 72 hours.
Statistical information on such minors shall be collected weekly from all INS district offices and Border
Patrol stations. Statistical information will include at least the following: (1) biographical information such
as each minor's name, date of birth, and country of birth, (2) date placed in INS custody, (3) each date
placed, removed or released, (4) to whom and where placed, transferred, removed or released, (5)
immigration status, and (6) hearing dates. The INS, through the Juvenile Coordinator, shall also collect
information regarding the reasons for every placement of a minor in a detention facility or medium
security facility.
B. Should Plaintiffs' counsel have reasonable cause to believe that a minor in INS legal custody should
have been released pursuant to Paragraph 14, Plaintiffs' counsel may contact the Juvenile Coordinator to
request that the Coordinator investigate the case and inform Plaintiffs' counsel of the reasons why the
minor has not been released.
29. On a semi-annual basis, until two years after the court determines, pursuant to Paragraph 31, that the
INS has achieved substantial compliance with the terms of this Agreement, the INS shall provide to
Plaintiffs' counsel the information collected pursuant to Paragraph 28, as permitted by law, and each INS
policy or instruction issued to INS employees regarding the implementation of this Agreement. In addition,
Plaintiffs' counsel shall have the opportunity to submit questions, on a semi-annual basis, to the Juvenile
Coordinator in the Office of the Assistant Commissioner for Detention and Deportation with regard to the
implementation of this Agreement and the information provided to Plaintiffs' counsel during the preceding
six-month period pursuant to Paragraph 28. Plaintiffs' counsel shall present such questions either orally or
in writing, at the option of the Juvenile Coordinator. The Juvenile Coordinator shall furnish responses,
either orally or in writing at the option of Plaintiffs' counsel, within 30 days of receipt.
30. On an annual basis, commencing one year after final court approval of this Agreement, the INS
Juvenile Coordinator shall review, assess, and report to the court regarding compliance with the terms of
this Agreement. The Coordinator shall file these reports with the court and provide copies to the parties,
including the final report referenced in Paragraph 35, so that they can submit comments on the report to
the court. In each report, the Coordinator shall state to the court whether or not the INS is in substantial
compliance with the terms of this Agreement, and, if the INS is not in substantial compliance, explain the
reasons for the lack of compliance. The Coordinator shall continue to report on an annual basis until three
years after the court determines that the INS has achieved substantial compliance with the terms of this
Agreement.
31. One year after the court's approval of this Agreement, the Defendants may ask the court to determine
whether the INS has achieved substantial compliance with the terms of this Agreement.

XI ATTORNEY-CLIENT VISITS
32. A. Plaintiffs' counsel are entitled to attorney-client visits with class members even though they may
not have the names of class members who are housed at a particular location. All visits shall occur in
accordance with generally applicable policies and procedures relating to attorney-client visits at the facility
in question. Upon Plaintiffs' counsel's arrival at a facility for attorney-client visits, the facility staff shall
provide Plaintiffs' counsel with a list of names and alien registration numbers for the minors housed at that
facility. In all instances, in order to memorialize any visit to a minor by Plaintiffs' counsel, Plaintiffs'
counsel must file a notice of appearance with the INS prior to any attorney-client meeting. Plaintiffs'
counsel may limit any such notice of appearance to representation of the minor in connection with this
Agreement. Plaintiffs' counsel must submit a copy of the notice of appearance by hand or by mail to the
local INS juvenile coordinator and a copy by hand to the staff of the facility.
B. Every six months, Plaintiffs' counsel shall provide the INS with a list of those attorneys who may make
such attorney-client visits, as Plaintiffs' counsel, to minors during the following six month period. Attorneyclient visits may also be conducted by any staff attorney employed by the Center for Human Rights &
Constitutional Law in Los Angeles, California or the National Center for Youth Law in San Francisco,
California, provided that such attorney presents credentials establishing his or her employment prior to
any visit.
C. Agreements for the placement of minor in non-INS facilities shall permit attorney-client visits, including
by class counsel in this case.
D. Nothing in Paragraph 32 shall affect a minor's right to refuse to meet with Plaintiffs' counsel. Further,
the minor's parent or legal guardian may deny Plaintiffs' counsel permission to meet with the minor.
XII FACILITY VISITS
33. In addition to the attorney-client visits permitted pursuant to Paragraph 32, Plaintiffs' counsel may
request access to any licensed program's facility in which a minor has been placed pursuant to Paragraph
19 or to any medium security facility or detention facility in which a minor has been placed pursuant to
Paragraphs 21 or 23. Plaintiffs' counsel shall submit a request to visit a facility under this paragraph to the
INS district juvenile coordinator who will provide reasonable assistance to Plaintiffs' counsel by conveying
the request to the facility's staff and coordinating the visit. The rules and procedures to be followed in
connection with any visit approved by a facility under this paragraph are set forth in Exhibit 4 attached,
except as may be otherwise agreed by Plaintiffs' counsel and the facility's staff. In all visits to any facility
pursuant to this Agreement, Plaintiffs' counsel and their associated experts shall treat minors and staff
with courtesy and dignity and shall not disrupt the normal functioning of the facility.
XIII TRAINING

34. Within 120 days of final court approval of this Agreement, the INS shall provide appropriate guidance
and training for designated INS employees regarding the terms of this Agreement. The INS shall develop
written and/or audio or video materials for such training. Copies of such written and/or audio or video
training materials shall be made available to Plaintiffs' counsel when such training materials are sent to
the field, or to the extent practicable, prior to that time.
XIV DISMISSAL
35. After the court has determined that the INS is in substantial compliance with this Agreement and the
Coordinator has filed a final report, the court, without further notice, shall dismiss this action. Until such
dismissal, the court shall retain jurisdiction over this action.
XV RESERVATION OF RIGHTS
36. Nothing in this agreement shall limit the rights, if any, of individual class members to preserve issues
for judicial review in the appeal of an individual case or for class members to exercise any independent
rights they may otherwise have.
XVI NOTICE AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION
37. This paragraph provides for the enforcement, in this District Court, of the provisions of this Agreement
except for claims brought under Paragraph 24. The parties shall meet telephonically or in person to
discuss a complete or partial repudiation of this Agreement or any alleged non-compliance with the terms
of the Agreement, prior to bringing any individual or class action to enforce this Agreement. Notice of a
claim that defendants have violated the terms of this Agreement shall be served on plaintiffs addressed
to:
CENTER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS & CONSTITUTIONAL LAW
Carlos Holguín
Peter A. Schey
256 South Occidental Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90057
NATIONAL CENTER FOR YOUTH LAW
Alice Bussiere
James Morales
114 Sansome Street, Suite 905
San Francisco, CA 94104
and on Defendants addressed to:

Michael Johnson
Assistant United States Attorney
300 N. Los Angeles St., Rm. 7516
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Allen Hausman
Office of Immigration Litigation
Civil Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 878, Ben Franklin Station
Washington, DC 20044
XVII PUBLICITY
38. Plaintiffs and Defendants shall hold a joint press conference to announce this Agreement. The INS
shall send copies of this Agreement to social service and voluntary agencies agreed upon by the parties,
as set forth in Exhibit 5 attached. The parties shall pursue such other public dissemination of information
regarding this Agreement as the parties shall agree.
XVIII ATTORNEYS FEES AND COSTS
39. Within 60 days of final court approval of this Agreement, Defendants shall pay to Plaintiffs the total
sum of $______, in full settlement of all attorneys' fees and costs in this case.
XIX TERMINATION
40. All terms of this Agreement shall terminate the earlier of five years from the date of final court
approval of this Agreement or three years after the court determines that the INS is in substantial
compliance with the Agreement, except the following: the INS shall continue to house the general
population of minors in INS custody in facilities that are state-licensed for the care of dependent minors.
XX REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTY
41. Counsel for the respective parties, on behalf of themselves and their clients, represent that they know
of nothing in this Agreement that exceeds the legal authority of the parties or is in violation of any law.
Defendants' counsel represent and warrant that they are fully authorized and empowered to enter into this
Agreement on behalf of the Attorney General, the United States Department of Justice, and the
Immigration and Naturalization Service, and acknowledge that Plaintiffs enter into this Agreement in
reliance on such representation. Plaintiffs' counsel represent and warrant that they are fully authorized
and empowered to enter into this Agreement on behalf of the Plaintiffs, and acknowledge that Defendants
enter into this Agreement in reliance on such representation. The undersigned, by their signatures on

behalf of the Plaintiffs and Defendants, warrant that upon execution of this Agreement in their
representative capacities, their principals, agents, and successors of such principals and agents shall be
fully and unequivocally bound hereunder to the full extent authorized by law.

EXHIBIT 1
Minimum Standards for Licensed Programs
A. Licensed programs shall comply with all applicable state child welfare laws and regulations and all
state and local building, fire, health and safety codes and shall provide or arrange for the following
services for each minor in its care:
1. Proper physical care and maintenance, including suitable living accommodations, food,
appropriate clothing, and personal grooming items.
2. Appropriate routine medical and dental care, family planning services, and emergency health
care services, including a complete medical examination (including screening for infectious
disease) within 48 hours of admission, excluding weekends and holidays, unless the minor was
recently examined at another facility; appropriate immunizations in accordance with the U.S.
Public Health Service (PHS), Center for Disease Control; administration of prescribed medication
and special diets; appropriate mental health interventions when necessary.
3. An individualized needs assessment which shall include: (a) various initial intake forms; (b)
essential data relating to the identification and history of the minor and family; (c) identification of
the minors' special needs including any specific problem(s) which appear to require immediate
intervention; (d) an educational assessment and plan; (e) an assessment of family relationships
and interaction with adults, peers and authority figures; (f) a statement of religious preference and
practice; (g) an assessment of the minor's personal goals, strengths and weaknesses; and (h)
identifying information regarding immediate family members, other relatives, godparents or
friends who may be residing in the United States and may be able to assist in family reunification.
4. Educational services appropriate to the minor's level of development, and communication skills
in a structured classroom setting, Monday through Friday, which concentrates primarily on the
development of basic academic competencies and secondarily on English Language Training
(ELT). The educational program shall include instruction and educational and other reading
materials in such languages as needed. Basic academic areas should include Science, Social
Studies, Math, Reading, Writing and Physical Education. The program shall provide minors with

appropriate reading materials in languages other than English for use during the minor's leisure
time.
5. Activities according to a recreation and leisure time plan which shall include daily outdoor
activity, weather permitting, at least one hour per day of large muscle activity and one hour per
day of structured leisure time activities (this should not include time spent watching television).
Activities should be increased to a total of three hours on days when school is not in session.
6. At least one (1) individual counseling session per week conducted by trained social work staff
with the specific objectives of reviewing the minor's progress, establishing new short term
objectives, and addressing both the developmental and crisis-related needs of each minor.
7. Group counseling sessions at least twice a week. This is usually an informal process and takes
place with all the minors present. It is a time when new minors are given the opportunity to get
acquainted with the staff, other children, and the rules of the program. It is an open forum where
everyone gets a chance to speak. Daily program management is discussed and decisions are
made about recreational activities, etc. It is a time for staff and minors to discuss whatever is on
their minds and to resolve problems.
8. Acculturation and adaptation services which include information regarding the development of
social and inter-personal skills which contribute to those abilities necessary to live independently
and responsibly.
9. Upon admission, a comprehensive orientation regarding program intent, services, rules (written
and verbal), expectations and the availability of legal assistance.
10. Whenever possible, access to religious services of the minor's choice.
11. Visitation and contact with family members (regardless of their immigration status) which is
structured to encourage such visitation. The staff shall respect the minor's privacy while
reasonably preventing the unauthorized release of the minor.
12. A reasonable right to privacy, which shall include the right to: (a) wear his or her own clothes,
when available; (b) retain a private space in the residential facility, group or foster home for the
storage of personal belongings; (c) talk privately on the phone, as permitted by the house rules
and regulations; (d) visit privately with guests, as permitted by the house rules and regulations;
and (e) receive and send uncensored mail unless there is a reasonable belief that the mail
contains contraband.

13. Family reunification services designed to identify relatives in the United States as well as in
foreign countries and assistance in obtaining legal guardianship when necessary for the release
of the minor.
14. Legal services information regarding the availability of free legal assistance, the right to be
represented by counsel at no expense to the government, the right to a deportation or exclusion
hearing before an immigration judge, the right to apply for political asylum or to request voluntary
departure in lieu of deportation.
B. Service delivery is to be accomplished in a manner which is sensitive to the age, culture, native
language and the complex needs of each minor.
C. Program rules and discipline standards shall be formulated with consideration for the range of ages
and maturity in the program and shall be culturally sensitive to the needs of alien minors. Minors shall not
be subjected to corporal punishment, humiliation, mental abuse, or punitive interference with the daily
functions of living, such as eating or sleeping. Any sanctions employed shall not: (1) adversely affect
either a minor's health, or physical or psychological well-being; or (2) deny minors regular meals,
sufficient sleep, exercise, medical care, correspondence privileges, or legal assistance.
D. A comprehensive and realistic individual plan for the care of each minor must be developed in
accordance with the minor's needs as determined by the individualized need assessment. Individual
plans shall be implemented and closely coordinated through an operative case management system.
E. Programs shall develop, maintain and safeguard individual client case records. Agencies and
organizations are required to develop a system of accountability which preserves the confidentiality of
client information and protects the records from unauthorized use or disclosure.
F. Programs shall maintain adequate records and make regular reports as required by the INS that permit
the INS to monitor and enforce this order and other requirements and standards as the INS may
determine are in the best interests of the minors.

Exhibit 2
Instructions to Service Officers re:
Processing, Treatment, and Placement of Minors
These instructions are to advise Service officers of INS policy regarding the way in which minors in INS
custody are processed, housed and released. These instructions are applicable nationwide and
supersede all prior inconsistent instructions regarding minors.

(a) Minors. A minor is a person under the age of eighteen years. However, individuals who have been
"emancipated" by a state court or convicted and incarcerated for a criminal offense as an adult are not
considered minors. Such individuals must be treated as adults for all purposes, including confinement and
release on bond.
Similarly, if a reasonable person would conclude that an individual is an adult despite his claims to be a
minor, the INS shall treat such person as an adult for all purposes, including confinement and release on
bond or recognizance. The INS may require such an individual to submit to a medical or dental
examination conducted by a medical professional or to submit to other appropriate procedures to verify
his or her age. If the INS subsequently determines that such an individual is a minor, he or she will be
treated as a minor for all purposes.
(b) General policy. The INS treates and shall continued to treat minors with dignity, respect and special
concern for their particular vulnerability. INS policy is to place each detained minor in the least restrictive
setting appropriate to the minor's age and special needs, provided that such setting is consistent with the
need to ensure the minor's timely appearance and to protect the minor's well-being and that of others.
INS officers are not required to release a minor to any person or agency whom they have reason to
believe may harm or neglect the minor or fail to present him or her before the INS or the immigration
courts when requested to do so.
(c) Processing. The INS will expeditiously process minors and will provide them a Form I-770 notice of
rights, including the right to a bond redetermination hearing, if applicable.
Following arrest, the INS will hold minors in a facility that is safe and sanitary and that is consistent with
the INS's concern for the particular vulnerability of minors. Such facilities will have access to toilets and
sinks, drinking water and food as appropriate, medical assistance if the minor is in need of emergency
services, adequate temperature control and ventilation, adequate supervision to protect minors from
others, and contact with family members who were arrested with the minor. The INS will separate
unaccompanied minors from unrelated adults whenever possible. Where such segregation is not
immediately possible, an unaccompanied minor will not be detained with an unrelated adult for more than
24 hours.
If the minor cannot be immediately released, and no licensed program (described below) is available to
care for him, he should be placed in an INS or INS-contract facility that has separate accommodations for
minors, or in a State or county juvenile detention facility that separates minors in INS custody from
delinquent offenders. The INS will make every effort to ensure the safety and well-being of juveniles
placed in these facilities.

(d) Release. The INS will release minors from its custody without unnecessary delay, unless detention of
a juvenile is required to secure her timely appearance or to ensure the minor's safety or that of others.
Minors shall be released in the following order of preference, to:
(i) a parent;
(ii) a legal guardian;
(iii) an adult relative (brother, sister, aunt, uncle, or grandparent);
(iv) an adult individual or entity designated by the parent or legal guardian as capable and
willing to care for the minor's well-being in (i) a declaration signed under penalty of perjury
before an immigration or consular officer, or (ii) such other documentation that establishes to
the satisfaction of the INS, in its discretion, that the individual designating the individual or
entity as the minor's custodian is in fact the minor's parent or guardian;
(v) a state-licensed juvenile shelter, group home, or foster home willing to accept legal
custody; or
(vi) an adult individual or entity seeking custody, in the discretion of the INS, when it appears
that there is no other likely alternative to long term detention and family reunification does not
appear to be a reasonable possibility.
(e) Certification of custodian. Before a minor is released, the custodian must execute an Affidavit of
Support (Form I-134) and an agreement to:
(i) provide for the minor's physical, mental, and financial well-being;
(ii) ensure the minor's presence at all future proceedings before the INS and the immigration
court;
(iii) notify the INS of any change of address within five (5) days following a move;
(iv) if the custodian is not a parent or legal guardian, not transfer custody of the minor to
another party without the prior written permission of the District Director, except in the event
of an emergency;
(v) notify the INS at least five days prior to the custodian's departing the United States of such
departure, whether the departure is voluntary or pursuant to a grant of voluntary departure or
order of deportation; and

(vi) if dependency proceedings involving the minor are initiated, notify the INS of the initiation
of a such proceedings and the dependency court of any deportation proceedings pending
against the minor.
In an emergency, a custodian may transfer temporary physical custody of a minor prior to securing
permission from the INS, but must notify the INS of the transfer as soon as is practicable, and in all cases
within 72 hours. Examples of an "emergency" include the serious illness of the custodian, destruction of
the home, etc. In all cases where the custodian seeks written permission for a transfer, the District
Director shall promptly respond to the request.
The INS may terminate the custody arrangements and assume legal custody of any minor whose
custodian fails to comply with the agreement. However, custody arrangements will not be terminated for
minor violations of the custodian's obligation to notify the INS of any change of address within five days
following a move.
(f) Suitability assessment. An INS officer may require a positive suitability assessment prior to releasing
a minor to any individual or program. A suitability assessment may include an investigation of the living
conditions in which the minor is to be placed and the standard of care he would receive, verification of
identity and employment of the individuals offering support, interviews of members of the household, and
a home visit. The assessment will also take into consideration the wishes and concerns of the minor.
(g) Family reunification. Upon taking a minor into custody, the INS, or the licensed program in which the
minor is placed, will promptly attempt to reunite the minor with his or her family to permit the release of
the minor under Paragraph (d) above. Such efforts at family reunification will continue so long as the
minor is in INS or licensed program custody and will be recorded by the INS or the licensed program in
which the minor is placed.
(h) Placement in licensed programs. A "licensed program" is any program, agency or organization
licensed by an appropriate state agency to provide residential group, or foster care services for
dependent children, including a program operating group homes, foster homes or facilities for special
needs minors. Exhibit 1 of the Flores v. Reno Settlement Agreement describes the standards required of
licensed programs. Juveniles who remain in INS custody must be placed in a licensed program within
three days if the minor was apprehended in an INS district in which a licensed program is located and has
space available, or within five days in all other cases, except when:
(i) the minor is an escape risk or delinquent, as defined in Paragraph (l) below;
(ii) a court decree or court-approved settlement requires otherwise;

(iii) an emergency or influx of minors into the United States prevents compliance, in which
case all minors should be placed in licensed programs as expeditiously as possible; or
(iv) where the minor must be transported from remote areas for processing or speaks an
unusual language such that a special interpreter is required to process the minor, in which
case the minor must be placed in a licensed program within five business days.
(i) Secure and supervised detention. A minor may be held in or transferred to a State or county juvenile
detention facility or in a secure INS facility or INS-contracted facility having separate accommodations for
minors, whenever the District Director or Chief Patrol Agent determines that the minor (i) has been charged with, is chargeable, or has been convicted of a crime, or is the subject
of delinquency proceedings, has been adjudicated delinquent, or is chargeable with a
delinquent act, unless the minor's offense is
(a) an isolated offense not within a pattern of criminal activity which did not involve
violence against a person or the use or carrying of a weapon (Examples: breaking
and entering, vandalism, DUI, etc. ); or
(b) a petty offense, which is not considered grounds for stricter means of detention in
any case (Examples: shoplifting, joy riding, disturbing the peace, etc.);
(ii) has committed, or has made credible threats to commit, a violent or malicious act
(whether directed at himself or others) while in INS legal custody or while in the presence of
an INS officer;
(iii) has engaged, while in a licensed program, in conduct that has proven to be unacceptably
disruptive of the normal functioning of the licensed program in which he or she has been
placed and removal is necessary to ensure the welfare of the minor or others, as determined
by the staff of the licensed program (Examples: drug or alcohol abuse, stealing, fighting,
intimidation of others, etc.);
(iv) is an escape-risk; or
(v) must be held in a secure facility for his or her own safety, such as when the INS has
reason to believe that a smuggler would abduct or coerce a particular minor to secure
payment of smuggling fees.

"Chargeable" means that the INS has probable cause to believe that the individual has committed a
specified offense.
The term "escape-risk" means that there is a serious risk that the minor will attempt to escape from
custody. Factors to consider when determining whether a minor is an escape-risk or not include, but are
not limited to, whether:
(a) the minor is currently under a final order of deportation or exclusion;
(b) the minor's immigration history includes: a prior breach of a bond; a failure to appear
before the INS or the immigration court; evidence that the minor is indebted to organized
smugglers for his transport; or a voluntary departure or a previous removal from the United
States pursuant to a final order of deportation or exclusion;
(c) the minor has previously absconded or attempted to abscond from INS custody.
The INS will not place a minor in a State or county juvenile detention facility, secure INS detention facility,
or secure INS-contracted facility if less restrictive alternatives are available and appropriate in the
circumstances, such as transfer to a medium security facility that provides intensive staff supervision and
counseling services or transfer to another licensed program. All determinations to place a minor in a
secure facility must be reviewed and approved by the regional Juvenile Coordinator.
(j) Notice of right to bond redetermination and judicial review of placement. A minor in deportation
proceedings shall be afforded a bond redetermination hearing before an immigration judge in every case
in which he either affirmatively requests, or fails to request or refuse, such a hearing on the Notice of
Custody Determination. A juvenile who is not released or placed in a licensed placement shall be
provided (1) a written explanation of the right of judicial review in the form attached, and (2) the list of free
legal services providers compiled pursuant to 8 C.F.R. § 292a.
(k) Transportation and transfer. Unaccompanied minors should not be transported in vehicles with
detained adults except when being transported from the place of arrest or apprehension to an INS office
or where separate transportation would be otherwise impractical, in which case minors shall be separated
from adults. INS officers shall take all necessary precautions for the protection of minors during
transportation with adults.
When a minor is to be released, the INS will assist him or her in making transportation arrangements to
the INS office nearest the location of the person or facility to whom a minor is to be released. The Service
may, in its discretion, provide transportation to such minors.

Whenever a minor is transferred from one placement to another, she shall be transferred with all of her
possessions and legal papers; provided, however, that if the minor's possessions exceed the amount
permitted normally by the carrier in use, the possessions must be shipped to the minor in a timely
manner. No minor who is represented by counsel should be transferred without advance notice to
counsel, except in unusual and compelling circumstances such as where the safety of the minor or others
is threatened or the minor has been determined to be an escape-risk, or where counsel has waived
notice, in which cases notice must be provided to counsel within 24 hours following transfer.
(l) Periodic reporting. All INS district offices and Border Patrol stations must report to the Juvenile
Coordinator statistical information on minors placed in proceedings who remain in INS custody for longer
than 72 hours. Information will include: (a) biographical information, including the minor's name, date of
birth, and country of birth, (b) date placed in INS custody, (c) each date placed, removed or released, (d)
to whom and where placed, transferred, removed or released, (e) immigration status, and (f) hearing
dates. The Juvenile Coordinator must also be informed of the reasons for placing a minor in a medium
security facility or detention facility as described in paragraph (i).
(m) Attorney-client visits by Plaintiffs' counsel. The INS will permit lawyers for the Reno v. Flores
plaintiff class to visit minors even though they may not have the names of minors who are housed at a
particular location. A list of Plaintiffs' counsel entitled to make attorney-client visits with minors is available
from the district Juvenile Coordinator. Attorney-client visits may also be conducted by any staff attorney
employed by the Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law of Los Angeles, California, or the
National Center for Youth Law of San Francisco, California, provided that such attorney presents
credentials establishing his or her employment prior to any visit.
Visits must occur in accordance with generally applicable policies and procedures relating to attorneyclient visits at the facility in question. Upon Plaintiffs' counsel's arrival at a facility for attorney-client visits,
the facility staff must provide Plaintiffs' counsel with a list of names and alien registration numbers for the
minors housed at that facility. In all instances, in order to memorialize any visit to a minor by Plaintiffs'
counsel, Plaintiffs' counsel must file a notice of appearance with the INS prior to any attorney-client
meeting. Plaintiffs' counsel may limit the notice of appearance to representation of the minor in
connection with his placement or treatment during INS custody. Plaintiffs' counsel must submit a copy of
the notice of appearance by hand or by mail to the local INS juvenile coordinator and a copy by hand to
the staff of the facility.
A minor may refuse to meet with Plaintiffs' counsel. Further, the minor's parent or legal guardian may
deny Plaintiffs' counsel permission to meet with the minor.

(n) Visits to licensed facilities. In addition to the attorney-client visits, Plaintiffs' counsel may request
access to a licensed program's facility (described in paragraph (h)) or to a medium-security facility or
detention facility (described in paragraph (i)) in which a minor has been placed. The district juvenile
coordinator will convey the request to the facility's staff and coordinate the visit. The rules and procedures
to be followed in connection with such visits are set out in Exhibit 4 of the Flores v. Reno Settlement
Agreement,, unless Plaintiffs' counsel and the facility's staff agree otherwise. In all visits to any facility,
Plaintiffs' counsel and their associated experts must treat minors and staff with courtesy and dignity and
must not disrupt the normal functioning of the facility.

EXHIBIT 3
Contingency Plan
In the event of an emergency or influx that prevents the prompt placement of minors in licensed programs
with which the Community Relations Service has contracted, INS policy is to make all reasonable efforts
to place minors in licensed programs licensed by an appropriate state agency as expeditiously as
possible. An emergency is an act or event, such as a natural disaster (e.g. earthquake, fire, hurricane),
facility fire, civil disturbance, or medical emergency (e.g. a chicken pox epidemic among a group of
minors) that prevents the prompt placement of minors in licensed facilities. An influx is defined as any
situation in which there are more than 130 minors in the custody of the INS who are eligible for placement
in licensed programs.
1. The Juvenile Coordinator will establish and maintain an Emergency Placement List of at least 80 beds
at programs licensed by an appropriate state agency that are potentially available to accept emergency
placements. These 80 placements would supplement the 130 placements that INS normally has
available, and whenever possible, would meet all standards applicable to juvenile placements the INS
normally uses. The Juvenile Coordinator may consult with child welfare specialists, group home
operators, and others in developing the list. The Emergency Placement List will include the facility name;
the number of beds at the facility; the name and telephone number of contact persons; the name and
telephone number of contact persons for nights, holidays, and weekends if different; any restrictions on
minors accepted (e.g. age); and any special services that are available.
2. The Juvenile Coordinator will maintain a list of minors affected by the emergency or influx, including (1)
the minor's name, (2) date and country of birth, and (3) date placed in INS custody.
3. Within one business day of the emergency or influx the Juvenile Coordinator, or his or her designee will
contact the programs on the Emergency Placement List to determine available placements. As soon as
available placements are identified, the Juvenile Coordinator will advise appropriate INS staff of their

availability. To the extent practicable, the INS will attempt to locate emergency placements in geographic
areas where culturally and linguistically appropriate community services are available.
4. In the event that the number of minors needing emergency placement exceeds the available
appropriate placements on the Emergency Placement List, the Juvenile Coordinator will work with the
Community Relations Service to locate additional placements through licensed programs, county social
services departments, and foster family agencies.
5. Each year, the INS will reevaluate the number of regular placements needed for detained minors to
determine whether the number of regular placements should be adjusted to accommodate an increased
or decreased number of minors eligible for placement in licensed programs. However, any decision to
increase the number of placements available shall be subject to the availability of INS resources. The
Juvenile Coordinator shall promptly provide Plaintiffs' counsel with any reevaluation made by INS
pursuant to this paragraph.
6. The Juvenile Coordinator shall provide to Plaintiffs' counsel copies of the Emergency Placement List
within six months after the court's final approval of the Settlement Agreement.

EXHIBIT 4
Agreement Concerning Facility Visits Under Paragraph 33
The purpose of facility visits under paragraph 33 is to interview class members and staff and to observe
conditions at the facility. Visits under paragraph 33 shall be conducted in accordance with the generally
applicable policies and procedures of the facility to the extent that those policies and procedures are
consistent with this Exhibit.
Visits authorized under paragraph 33 shall be scheduled no less than seven (7) business days in
advance. The names, positions, credentials, and professional association (e.g., Center for Human Rights
and Constitutional Law) of the visitors will be provided at that time.
All visits with class members shall take place during normal business hours.
No video recording equipment or cameras of any type shall be permitted. Audio recording equipment
shall be limited to hand-held tape recorders.
The number of visitors will not exceed six (6) or, in the case of a family foster home, four (4), including
interpreters, in any instance. Up to two (2) of the visitors may be non-attorney experts in juvenile justice
and/or child welfare.

No visit will extend beyond three (3) hours per day in length. Visits shall minimize disruption to the routine
that minors and staff follow.

Exhibit 5
List of Organizations to Receive Information re: Settlement Agreement
Eric Cohen, Immig. Legal Resource Center, 1663 Mission St. Suite 602, San Francisco, CA 94103
Cecilia Munoz, Nat'l Council Of La Raza, 810 1st St. NE Suite 300, Washington, D.C. 20002
Susan Alva, Immig. & Citiz. Proj Director, Coalition For Humane Immig Rights of LA, 1521 Wilshire Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Angela Cornell, Albuquerque Border Cities Proj., Box 35895, Albuquerque, NM 87176-5895
Beth Persky, Executive Director, Centro De Asuntos Migratorios, 1446 Front Street, Suite 305, San
Diego, CA 92101
Dan, Kesselbrenner, , National Lawyers Guild, National Immigration Project, 14 Beacon St.,#503, Boston,
MA 02108
Lynn Marcus , SWRRP, 64 E. Broadway, Tucson, AZ 85701-1720
Maria Jimenez, , American Friends Service Cmte., ILEMP, 3522 Polk Street, Houston, TX 77003-4844
Wendy Young, , U.S. Cath. Conf., 3211 4th St. NE, , Washington, DC, 20017-1194
Miriam Hayward , International Institute Of The East Bay, 297 Lee Street , Oakland, CA 94610
Emily Goldfarb, , Coalition For Immigrant & Refugee Rights, 995 Market Street, Suite 1108 , San
Francisco, CA 94103
Jose De La Paz, Director, California Immigrant Workers Association, 515 S. Shatto Place , Los Angeles,
CA, 90020
Annie Wilson, LIRS, 390 Park Avenue South, First Asylum Concerns, New York, NY 10016
Stewart Kwoh, Asian Pacific American Legal Center, 1010 S. Flower St., Suite 302, Los Angeles, CA
90015
Warren Leiden, Executive Director, AILA, 1400 Eye St., N.W., Ste. 1200, Washington, DC, 20005

Frank Sharry, Nat'l Immig Ref & Citiz Forum, 220 I Street N.E., Ste. 220, Washington, D.C. 20002
Reynaldo Guerrero, Executive Director, Center For Immigrant's Rights, 48 St. Marks Place , New York,
NY 10003
Charles Wheeler , National Immigration Law Center, 1102 S. Crenshaw Blvd., Suite 101 , Los Angeles,
CA 90019
Deborah A. Sanders, Asylum & Ref. Rts Law Project, Washington Lawyers Comm., 1300 19th Street,
N.W., Suite 500 , Washington, D.C. 20036
Stanley Mark, Asian American Legal Def.& Ed.Fund, 99 Hudson St, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10013
Sid Mohn, Executive Director, Travelers & Immigrants Aid, 327 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 1500, Chicago, IL,
60604
Bruce Goldstein, Attornet At Law, Farmworker Justice Fund, Inc., 2001 S Street, N.W., Suite 210,
Washington, DC 20009
Ninfa Krueger, Director, BARCA, 1701 N. 8th Street, Suite B-28, McAllen, TX 78501
John Goldstein, , Proyecto San Pablo, PO Box 4596,, Yuma, AZ 85364
Valerie Hink, Attorney At Law, Tucson Ecumenical Legal Assistance, P.O. Box 3007 , Tucson, AZ 85702
Pamela Mohr, Executive Director, Alliance For Children's Rights, 3708 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 720, Los
Angeles, CA 90010
Pamela Day, Child Welfare League Of America, 440 1st St. N.W., , Washington, DC 20001
Susan Lydon, Esq., Immigrant Legal Resource Center, 1663 Mission St. Ste 602, San Francisco, CA
94103
Patrick Maher, Juvenile Project, Centro De Asuntos Migratorios, 1446 Front Street, # 305, San Diego, CA
92101
Lorena Munoz, Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Foundation of LA-IRO, 1102 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, CA
90019
Christina Zawisza, Staff Attorney, Legal Services of Greater Miami, 225 N.E. 34th Street, Suite 300,
Miami, FL 33137

Miriam Wright Edelman, Executive Director, Children's Defense Fund, 122 C Street N.W. 4th Floor,
Washington, DC 20001
Rogelio Nunez, Executive Director, Proyecto Libertad, 113 N. First St., Harlingen, TX 78550

Exhibit 6
Notice of Right to Judicial Review
"The INS usually houses persons under the age of 18 in an open setting, such as a foster or group home,
and not in detention facilities. If you believe that you have not been properly placed or that you have been
treated improperly, you may ask a federal judge to review your case. You may call a lawyer to help you
do this. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you may call one from the list of free legal services given to you with
this form."

LIVE

Caregivers for 3,600 migrant teens
reportedly lack complete abuse checks

.
.
............

U P D AT E D O N : D E C E M B E R 8 , 2 0 1 8 / 8 : 2 5 A M / A P

Nearly every adult working with children in the U.S. -- from nannies to teachers to
coaches -- has undergone state screenings to ensure they have no proven history
of abusing or neglecting kids. One exception: thousands of workers at two federal
detention facilities holding 3,600 migrant teens in the government's care, The
Associated Press has learned.

The staff isn't being screened for child abuse and neglect at a Miami-based
emergency detention center because Florida law bans any outside employer from
reviewing information in its child welfare system. Until recently at another facility
holding migrant teens in Tornillo, Texas, staff hadn't even undergone FBI
fi
i t h k l t l
hild
lf
i
t
tf

d

fingerprint checks, let alone child welfare screenings, a government report found.
The missing screening at both sites involves searching child protective services
systems to see whether potential employees had a verified allegation of abuse,
neglect or abandonment, which could range from having a foster child run away
from a group home to failing to take a sick child to the hospital. These allegations
often are not criminally prosecuted and therefore wouldn't show up in other
screenings.
Tornillo has 2,100 staff for about 2,300 teens; Homestead has 2,000 staff for
about 1,300 teens. 

CBS News gains access to Homestead, Florida, detention center
"Tent City" for unaccompanied migrants to expand, remain open
through the end of the year
The two facilities can operate unlicensed and without required checks because
they are located on federal property and thus don't have to comply with state
child welfare laws. Tornillo is on Customs and Border Protection land along the
U.S.-Mexico border, and Homestead is on a former Labor Department Jobs Corps
site.
Last week, bipartisan lawmakers from Texas and beyond called for swift reforms
and public hearings after the AP reported that the government put thousands of
teens at risk at Tornillo by waiving the security screenings and having fewer
mental health workers than needed. And on Tuesday, two members of Congress
called for the immediate shutdown of Tornillo.
The government report said the screenings were waived at Tornillo because the
agency was under pressure to open the camp quickly and the federal government
erroneously assumed staff members already had FBI fingerprint checks.
Except for Homestead, every child shelter and foster care facility in Florida -i l di t
th
h ldi
i
t hild
l
'
th

h

including two others holding migrant children -- runs employees' names through
child protective services records. 

Some detention centers for migrant children not subject to state
inspections
State law prohibits the Florida Department of Children and Families from sharing
results of those checks more widely due to concerns that child protective services
might be reluctant to flag an individual, and thereby avoid providing services
such as parenting classes for them, if it could put the person's job in jeopardy.

Health and Human Services Department spokesman Mark Weber said Homestead
didn't need the extensive background screenings.
"Child abuse and neglect checks were waived because of the limitations in the
state of Florida and the fingerprint background checks conducted on employees
would show relevant information," he said.
Tornillo launched a month-long program to run staff through FBI fingerprint
checks last week in response to a wave of public pressure prompted by the
government memo and media reports about the lack of staff screening there.
Child welfare experts say child abuse and neglect background screenings are
typically required because some people who hurt children may never be
convicted of criminal charges serious enough to warrant an FBI red flag but could
be charged civilly, which would appear only in state registries.
"An FBI background check doesn't provide a full and complete picture of that
i di id l'
i i l hi t
" id Al
M ti
i t
l f

individual's criminal history," said Alonzo Martinez, associate counselor for
compliance at HireRight, a private employer background check service. Local
police departments aren't required to enter fingerprints of offenders in the FBI
database and deeper checks - including reviewing state and county child abuse
registries - can turn up different information about potential applicants, Martinez
said.
During his time serving as the director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement,
Scott Lloyd granted screening waivers for both Homestead and Tornillo, which
was allowed under federal rules since the shelters were opened on a temporary
basis. Homestead has been open for eight months and Tornillo for five, however,
with no indication they will close.
In August, Lloyd wrote a letter to the Washington Post defending the shelters,
saying, "The same standard of care we expect for your kids and mine we expect
for the kids in Office of Refugee Resettlement care."

Save more for your future
with a Money Market
Savings account.

State Farm Bank, F.S.B., Bloomington, Illinois

The contractors for both detention centers -- Comprehensive Health Services for
Homestead, and BCFS Health and Human Services for Tornillo -- deferred to HHS
for comment. HHS said it is working to safely care for all children referred to the
agency.
The Obama administration opened Homestead as a temporary shelter for up to
800 i
tt
f 10
th i 2016 Si
th
th f d l
th

800 migrant teens for 10 months in 2016. Since then, the federal government has
budgeted more than $330 million for the for-profit company to operate the
facility, according to an AP review of federal contracts. The review found that
Tornillo could cost taxpayers as much as $430 million this year.
A memo obtained by the AP shows the ORR director at the time, Robert Carey,
also waived child abuse and neglect background checks for Homestead staff
during the Obama administration.
Children at Homestead wear government-issued clothes and live in dormitorystyle bedrooms in a tightly guarded compound surrounded by chain-link fence.
At Tornillo, they sleep in bunk beds inside canvas tents; outside temperatures
near 100 in the summer and are below freezing on winter nights.
The 13- to 17-year-olds held at Homestead and Tornillo weren't separated from
their families at the border this summer. They remain in government custody in
part because new federal requirements mandating more stringent background
checks on their families have slowed their reunifications, filling shelter beds
around the country to capacity. Almost all the teens at both facilities entered the
U.S. on their own, hoping to join relatives or friends.
Neha Desai, immigration director at the Oakland-based National Center for Youth
Law, said that the federal government is required to hold children in licensed
facilities when they are detained for more than a short period of time.
"Homestead's failure to perform child abuse and neglect checks on its staff is just
another reason that the government in no circumstances should be holding
children there for more than a few days at a time," said Desai. "Yet, we know that
numerous children are languishing there for months on end."
First published on December 8, 2018
© 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast,
rewritten, or redistributed.

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February 13, 2019 · 5:10 AM ET
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JOHN BURNETT

Hundreds of migrant children are housed at a South Florida shelter, which is under
scrutiny because it's the only one to be run by a for-profit corporation and is not
overseen by state regulators.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
Thousands of migrant children are still arriving at the southern border every month
without their parents. And many of them are housed at an emergency intake shelter in
South Florida. That facility has come under scrutiny because it's the only child shelter
for immigrants that is run by a for-profit corporation and the only one that isn't
overseen by state regulators. NPR's John Burnett got a rare look inside.
JOHN BURNETT, BYLINE: The Homestead facility is the biggest and most
controversial shelter for migrant children in the country. Critics say the government is
warehousing kids in a makeshift prison camp. But on a recent tour, the shelter director
took pains to show me a different perspective. The kids live in sand-colored
dormitories, amid palm trees and bougainvillea, inside a fenced campus next to
Homestead Air Reserve Base south of Miami. The tour included the soccer field, the

phone-home room, the medical clinic and the classrooms. I'm told about the talent
shows and the pizza and ice cream for good behavior. There is one youth care worker
for every 12 immigrants. The teenagers walk past in an orderly single file, smiling and
singing out hola to a visitor's greeting.
But that's all a reporter ever hears. On these stage-managed walk-throughs, journalists
are not permitted to record anything, to take photographs or speak to the children. It's
for their privacy and protection, we're told. After the tour, I sit down with a group of
attorneys who have been granted access to the children by a federal court to oversee
their welfare while in federal custody. I caught up with them after they met with two
dozen youngsters inside Homestead.
LEECIA WELCH: We see a very different picture. We see extremely traumatized
children, some of whom sit across from us and can't stop crying over what they're
experiencing.
BURNETT: Leecia Welch is director of legal advocacy at the National Center for Youth
Law.
WELCH: We hear stories of children who are told from the first day of their
orientation at the facility that under no circumstances can they touch another child in
the facility - even their own sibling, even friends who they're saying goodbye to after
many months of shared intense experience. They can't hug them goodbye. If they do,
they're told they will be written up, and it could affect their immigration case. We see a
very different picture than the reporters see.
BURNETT: Homestead is like no other federal children's shelter in America. Not only
is it the biggest - it can receive up to 2,350 kids - but it's the only for-profit facility. The
operator is Comprehensive Health Services. The Florida-based company dispatched
medical teams to the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina and to Balad Air Base in Iraq.
And in 2016, it got into the shelter business. The current Homestead contract is worth
up to $220 million. The burn rate is $1.2 million a day, according to the Department of
Health and Human Services. Immigrant advocates fear America's prison-industrial
complex has now expanded into federal child custody. Maria Rodriguez is director of
the Florida Immigrant Coalition.

MARIA RODRIGUEZ: From what I understand, it's the first for-profit child detention
center. So just let that sink in.
BURNETT: Company executives declined to be interviewed. But a Comprehensive
Health Care vice president said in an email that the safety and welfare of
unaccompanied minors at the Homestead facility is a top priority and that they follow
all laws. And the no-touching rule - officials say fist bumps are allowed. In filings with
the Securities and Exchange Commission, the parent company, Caliburn
International, states that border enforcement and immigration policy is driving
significant growth. The company also warns investors that the, quote, "challenging
and politically charged environment could adversely impact our share price." Kevin
Connor is director of the Public Accountability Initiative, a watchdog research group.
KEVIN CONNOR: Caliburn's SEC filings make it clear that they understand the
controversial nature of the policies that they are benefiting from.
BURNETT: The Border Patrol reports a continuing surge of unaccompanied minors
seeking asylum. Five-thousand children were apprehended crossing the border in
January alone. Once in federal custody, they're sent to Homestead or to one of the 130
smaller permanent shelters. The Office of Refugee Resettlement, ORR, which is in
charge of the shelter network, insists that its mission is child welfare, not detention.
Jonathan Hayes, acting director of the agency, says the shelter facilities are better than
the austere holding cells that you find at the border.
JONATHAN HAYES: The main mission is to ensure that kids are not stuck in true
detention facilities in cages and border patrol stations. That's the goal of all of us here
at ORR and our grantees. We want to get these kids into our shelters as quickly and as
safely as possible without delay.
BURNETT: But critics say the kids are kept at those shelters for too long, an average of
67 days at Homestead, before they're released to live with a sponsor and wait for a
court date. And they want the facility closed. Now Democrats have introduced
legislation in Congress that would do just that. It's called the Shut Down Child Prison
Camps Act. Another large emergency shelter closed last month amid incendiary
criticism. It was a tent camp in Tornillo in the West Texas desert. Neha Desai is

director of immigration at the National Youth Law Center. She was in the group that
interviewed children at Homestead.
NEHA DESAI: There is absolutely no basis for detaining children at an influx facility
for months and months on end.
BURNETT: Homestead is unique because it's a temporary overflow facility on federal
property. That means the shelter doesn't have to be licensed by the state and follow
Florida child care standards, though it does have to comply with federal regulations.
Being on federal land also means the shelter doesn't have to be part of the local public
school system. The shelter director says the children receive a good education, but
Alberto Carvalho, superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, disagrees.
ALBERTO CARVALHO: For me, this is personal.
BURNETT: Carvalho says he came to this country himself as an unaccompanied
immigrant from Portugal at the age of 17. Now he's angry the federal government is
telling him he can't inspect Homestead's classrooms.
CARVALHO: For me to now be running a school system and not take a position and
fight for the educational rights of kids regardless of immigration status would be the
equivalent of me turning my back on myself.
BURNETT: But all the criticism hasn't hurt business. In the past two weeks,
Comprehensive Health Services has been issued new state licenses for three shelters in
South Texas to hold 500 migrant children for the U.S. government. John Burnett, NPR
News, Miami.
(SOUNDBITE OF DOGS' "BEWARE OF SAFETY")
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transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the
future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

The Washington Post
Investigations

12-year-old immigrant prescribed antidepressants in shelter due to
distress over family separation, lawsuit alleges
By Aaron C. Davis
June 29, 2018

After U.S. authorities detained a 12-year-old boy crossing the U.S.-Mexico border by himself in February,
government contractors wrote in his file that he went from being calm and cooperative to showing signs of
depression brought on by “being kept from his family,” which had entered the country before him, according to
a new court case.
The boy’s condition deteriorated further in the care of shelters funded by the U.S. Office of Refugee
Resettlement, which now holds over 2,000 children separated more forcefully from their parents under an
abandoned policy of the Trump administration, the lawsuit alleges. He has been transferred to a psychiatric
facility in Texas and placed on a regimen of antidepressants, it says, and the U.S. government is refusing to
release him to an adult sister in Los Angeles, saying her home may not be suitable and that the boy is not yet
“psychologically sound” for release.
The complaint, filed Friday in federal court in California, illustrates the difficulties the Trump administration
faces in complying with a federal judge’s order to reunify all 2,000 children and their parents within a month.
Many of those children — perhaps “hundreds,” the lawsuit estimates — are already caught up in a bureaucratic
tangle of medical determinations and assessments of family members to which they could potentially be
released. In several cases documented in the suit, those issues have taken a year or more to be resolved.
The lawsuit alleges that delays in releasing minors amount to violations of their constitutional rights.
“Basic due-process rights for these children are really being trampled on right now by the Trump
administration,” said Leecia Welch, an attorney for the National Center for Youth Law, one of the groups that
brought the case. “Child after child has told us the same story of being awaken at 4 a.m., and flown across the
country to be detained without being told why, let alone a judicial determination as to why. What ORR is doing
is saying it can incarcerate children and throw away the key for as long as it likes.”
The Department of Health and Human Services declined to comment.
But in court filings in a separate case, the federal government has asserted that it has the right and
responsibility to have doctors at shelters administer drugs to minors when needed. It has relied largely on
authority courts have said it has in emergency situations to do so. In May, the Justice Department also pushed

back on allegations that it was moving too slowly in discharging children to sponsors, saying it has a
responsibility to adequately review and vet the conditions immigrants will live in.
Welch said the Justice Department all but invited advocates for immigrant children to file the suit during a
recent court exchange over whether the government has the authority to prescribe psychotropic medications
and whether it is violating previous legal agreements to release children as quickly as possible.
“To the extent Plaintiffs wish to challenge the sufficiency of constitutionality of the process … they should do so
in separate litigation,” the Justice Department wrote in a court filing in May.
The group bringing the suit includes the same core group of attorneys and advocacy organizations that filed a
1985 complaint that led to a landmark document called the Flores settlement.
That agreement ultimately forced the U.S. government to stop housing children in austere detention centers
run by Border Patrol officers and to instead direct children to more shelter-like conditions with education and
exercise facilities run by ORR, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The new case, Lucas R. v Azar, for Alex Azar, current HHS secretary, claims the policies and practices of ORR
are “causing grave harm to children detained for alleged civil violations” of crossing the border.
Lucas R. is the pseudonym that attorneys assigned to the 12-year-old from Guatemala detained in February.
The suit alleges the boy was placed in Hacienda del Sol, a shelter in Arizona run by the government contractor
Southwest Key. When he arrived, the lawsuit says, staff noted that Lucas “appeared cooperative, calm, and
alert, and showed ‘no behavioral concerns.’ ”
“As his confinement wore on, however, Lucas became depressed, fearing that ORR would never release him to
his family,” the case alleges, and without seeking consent of his closest relative in the United States, the “ORR
administered Lucas psychotropic drugs, ostensibly to control ‘moderate’ depression.”
Meanwhile, the boy’s adult sister, who lives in Los Angeles with her infant daughter, brother and a roommate,
had applied to be his sponsor and take custody of him from Hacienda del Sol.
But when investigators arrived to inspect her apartment, a friend of the roommate was visiting, the suit alleges.
Agents said everyone in the home, including the friend would have to be fingerprinted for Lucas to be released
to his sister’s custody.
The friend’s roommate did not show up for fingerprinting, and ORR informed the sister that Lucas would not
be released to her.
For Lucas, the situation was deteriorating, the lawsuit alleges. The medication Zoloft was causing him stomach
pain, and he began refusing to take the antidepressant. That led to his transfer to Shiloh Treatment Center in

Texas. At that facility, a doctor who has signed off on many recent treatment plans has been operating on an
expired state license, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting.
The lawsuit says: “Shiloh personnel have now diagnosed Lucas with ‘major depressive disorder.’ Among Lucas’
‘major stressors,’ Shiloh personnel identify his ‘[b]eing kept from family and in ORR custody.’ Shiloh staff have
nonetheless told Lucas that ORR will not release him until Shiloh medical personnel declare him
psychologically sound.”
In addition to the Center for Youth Law, other plaintiffs are the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional
Law, University of California Davis School of Law Immigration Law Clinic, and Cooley LLP.
“We don’t know what process ORR is using currently to reunite these children with their families and what
we’re seeing is that parents of children are going through the ringer trying to get their kids out of these
detention facilities,” Welch said. “There is no reason to think it is going to get any better.”
Aaron C. Davis
Aaron Davis is an investigative reporter who has covered local, state and federal government, as well as the aviation industry
and law enforcement. Davis shared in winning the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting in 2018.  Follow 

2/22/2019

Trump’s Fingerprint Policy Change Could Reduce Number of Migrant Children in Detention, Close Tornillo

https://www.texasmonthly.com/news/trump-fingerprint-policy-change-reduce-migrant-children-detention-tornillo/

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2/22/2019

Trump’s Fingerprint Policy Change Could Reduce Number of Migrant Children in Detention, Close Tornillo

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Trump’s Fingerprint Policy Change Could Reduce Number of Migrant Children in Detention, Close Tornillo

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