The entire mass migration to our border and all its cascading ill effects can be traced to one thing: the Flores settlement’s expansion from children to family units by a single district judge. Flores is not a constitutional provision, a statute, or even a court ruling. It is a court settlement, designed as a temporary arrangement, that actually runs contrary to statute and has been used as a catalyst to undermine every bedrock law of sovereignty. After a full year of dithering, the Trump administration is finally using its unquestionable power to modify the settlement to finally end catch-and-release.
The Flores settlement, originally agreed upon in 1997 and modified in 2001, provided that government would only house alien children in “non-secure, state licensed” facilities or release them expeditiously until and unless the federal government writes a regulation to build its own licensing scheme ensuring the safe and sanitary conditions of the facilities. Given that there are no such state-licensed facilities, and the feds, until now, have not created their own scheme, it forced them to release unaccompanied minors expeditiously. In 2015, a California judge applied Flores to children accompanied by a parent as well, an order that was upheld by the Ninth Circuit the following year.