Monday Program – Week in Review #10

The topic of child detention centers continues to be present in the news due to new regulations that will give the United States government the option to detain minors indefinitely. The Flores agreement, which was put into place in the United States in 1997, states that “the government must release children as quickly as possible and cannot detain them longer than 20 days, whether they have traveled to the U.S. alone or with family members”, but that all will change as the new regulations are set to be put into place within 60 days. The new regulations have sparked a heated debate regarding the children’s rights and the treatment that they will receive while they’re in these detention centers. A federal appeals panel came to the conclusion that the detained children must receive clean water, edible food, toothpaste, and all of the necessary supplies to keep themselves clean. “One of the things we’re losing along with the weakening standards and the core elements of Flores — that children have to be released expeditiously — is an enforcement mechanism,” stated the acting deputy Washington director for the Human Rights Watch, Clara Long. “There’s huge reason to be deeply concerned about the conditions in those facilities without outside monitoring.” The Homeland Security office has said that they “are creating a set of higher standards to govern family detention facilities, which will be regularly audited, and the audits made public.” Due to the high amount of families from Central America attempting to get into the United States, the U.S.-Mexico border has been heavily strained as their operations center around the detention of single, adult men. Detention centers are having to heavily shift their tactics, but will the changes come in time? “When children have repeatedly died in our care for ailments as simple as the flu, keeping them in indefinite detention defies logic and will lead to deadly consequences,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. “The courts must immediately stop this illegal action.” Detention centers in the United States must step up their game, but will these new regulations help solve the problem, or send it to new heights?

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