Court Strikes Down Regulation Allowing Indefinite Detention of Immigrant Children

On August 22, 2019, just over a month ago, the Trump Administration announced a new regulation to allow undocumented children to be detained indefinitely. This would have ended the Flores Settlement Agreement- a 20 year old agreement created to ensure, in part, that immigrant children would be released “without unnecessary delay;” Flores includes a 20 day cap on detention.
Acting swiftly, on September 27, 2019, U.S. District Court Judge Dolly M. Gee issued a permanent injunction blocking the government from implementing the new regulations. The judge found that the administration could not simply ignore the Flores settlement- a consent decree. The proper procedure for seeking relief from a consent decree, the judge stated, is a Rule 60(b) motion by which a party must demonstrate that a change in law or facts renders compliance either illegal, impossible, or inequitable.