Federal Government Needs to Respond on Alternatives to Family Detention

Communications Associate

July 8, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Wednesday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a central holding in a lower court’s opinion that child migrants who are accompanied by a parent and currently in family detention cannot be held in family detention.

The case has a long history dating to the nearly 20-year-old Flores Settlement Agreement, but Wednesday’s decision affirms what we’ve already known: There are better alternatives to detaining families and children.

“With the 9th Circuit decision, the ball is back in the court of the federal government,” said Cathleen Farrell, communications director at the National Immigration Forum. “We’ve long said that there are more morally and fiscally responsible alternatives to detention for families and children. Family detention is far from the best solution for our country.

“Now that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed that, the federal government needs to respond is a way that is just, secure and humane.”