On Monday, a federal judge in California rejected the attempt by the Trump administration to hold immigrant families in detention for longer periods, saying it was a cynical attempt to undo a longstanding legal settlement. District Judge, Dolly Gee says that the federal government had failed to present new evidence to justify the revision of a court order limiting the detention of immigrant minors who illegally cross the US border for longer periods.
Gee was asked to make alterations to a 1997 settlement that provided the framework for the handling of detained immigrant minors by the Department of Justice to keep families together for an extended period of time. Gee’s ruling came on the same day that the government admitted it would not be able to reunite all the families with children under five years old separated by the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy by the Tuesday deadline set by a federal judge in San Diego.
The Trump administration alleges that the previous rulings issued by Gee made family detention unlikely and incentivizes undocumented border crossers to bring children in the hope that they would avoid detention.
Gee responded by saying that the administration was attempting to shift the blame to the court for more than 20 years of inaction on the part of Congress over immigration, as well as ill-judged executive actions that have resulted in a stalemate. Gee also rejected a similar move by the Obama administration three years ago.