Overview of U.S. Immigration Laws Regulating the Admission and Exclusion of Aliens at the Border [June 25, 2018]   [open pdf - 493KB]

"Following the publication of this Sidebar, on June 20, 2018, President Trump issued an executive order directing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to maintain custody of families who unlawfully enter the United States pending their removal proceedings or any unlawful entry criminal prosecution of one of the family members. The executive order declares an intent to 'maintain family unity, including by detaining alien families together where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources.' The executive order further directs the Attorney General to file a request with the federal district court in the Central District of California to modify the Flores settlement agreement, which generally limits the period of time in which an alien minor may be detained by DHS to 20 days. On June 21, 2018, the Department of Justice filed a motion to modify the settlement agreement to permit the detention of alien minors and their accompanying parents or legal guardians together in family residential centers during their removal proceedings. While the President's executive order seeks to prevent families from being separated during the pendency of their removal proceedings, at present, the manner in which the order will be interpreted and applied remains unclear. In particular, as of the date of this update, there reportedly is some confusion over whether the executive order means that, in the event that an alien minor in DHS custody is released from detention, the minor's parents must necessarily be released as well to ensure family unity."

Report Number:
CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10150
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html
Media Type:
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