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A landmark settlement protecting children at the border is set to roll back

The Biden administration will seek to partially end the 27-year-old court supervision of how the federal government cares for child migrants traveling alone, shortly after producing its own list of safeguards against mistreatment, an attorney involved in the case says.

The Justice Department has told opposing attorneys it will ask a federal judge on May 10 to terminate the so-called Flores agreement at the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, which takes custody of unaccompanied children within 72 hours of arrest by the Border Patrol, according to Leecia Welch, deputy litigation director at Children’s Rights, which represents children in the case.

The landmark settlement – named for a child immigrant from El Salvador, Jenny Flores – would remain in effect at the Border Patrol and its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, creating what Ms. Welch called a “piecemeal” dismantling. Attorneys for unaccompanied children will oppose the move, which would be subject to approval by U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee in Los Angeles.

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