Flores v. Barr

Juvenile Law Center joined Children’s Rights and seven other children’s advocacy organizations on an amicus brief filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in support of plaintiffs, including Jenny Flores and other unaccompanied migrant children. Amici argued that regulations released in August 2019 by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are inconsistent with the Flores Settlement Agreement (FSA), violated state licensing requirements required by the FSA, and put children at risk of serious harm or even death.

Amici further argued that the DHS and HHS regulations fail to provide an adequate system to monitor, report, and address any abuse or other violations of standards. In addition, the standards of treatment described in the DHS and HHS regulations are inconsistent with child welfare standards (which are incorporated in the FSA) and instead treat children as prisoners and allow for their indefinite detention. In addition, DHS already demonstrated that it’s treatment of children in detention causes extreme harm and even deaths.

An important win for the rights of children was recognized on September 27, 2019, when the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California issued a permanent injunction against the DHS and HHS regulations and compelled the agencies to continue to comply with FSA standards and requirements.