THE FLORES SETTLEMENT
The Flores lawsuit was filed in 1985 by the Center For Human Rights and Constitutional Law in order to address the mistreatment of immigrant children in federal custody. The case settled in 1997 and remains under the supervision of U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee in the Central District of California.
The 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement applies child welfare protections to vulnerable immigrant children. The Settlement sets national standards for the detention and humane treatment, and prompt release of all minors detained in the custody of the federal government, and is critical to the ongoing protection of these children.
Here are just a few of the stipulations made in the agreement:
Children must be held in the “least restrictive setting” appropriate, based on his or her age and needs.
Children must be held in facilities that are "safe and sanitary" and that are consistent with the INS's concern for the particular vulnerability of minors.
Children must be released “without unnecessary delay” to a sponsor, which may be a parent, relative, designate of the parent, or responsible adult, as deemed appropriate.
The Settlement protects “[a]ll minors who are detained in the legal custody of the INS or its successors in interest, ICE, CBP, and ORR.
Under the settlement, CHRCL is the only non-governmental organization in the country permitted to inspect every detention site where children are held and to interview and assess the treatment of all detained children. CHRCL continues to monitor the government's compliance with the Flores Settlement and will file motions if violations of the settlement terms are found.
CHRCL prepares analysis and practice advisories on cutting edge issues impacting immigrants, refugees, children, and other vulnerable communities. Check out our latest Analysis and Practice Advisories on our LEGAL ANALYSIS page.
The Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law is a non-profit, public interest legal foundation dedicated to furthering and protecting the civil, constitutional, and human rights of immigrants, refugees, children, prisoners, and the poor.
Since its incorporation in 1980, under the leadership of a board of directors, the Center has provided a wide range of legal services to vulnerable low-income victims of human and civil rights violations and technical support and training to hundreds of legal aid attorneys and paralegals in the areas of immigration law, constitutional law, and complex and class action litigation.
The Center has achieved major victories in numerous major cases in the courts of the United States and before international bodies that have directly benefited hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged persons.
Peter Schey and Carlos Holguin, founders of Center For Human Rights and