Statement On Changes Made to Agreement Protecting Immigrant Children

\The Vera Institute of Justice is dismayed by recent news that the federal government is seeking ways to subvert the Flores settlement agreement, a legal framework that has provided essential protections to immigrant children and families for decades. It is critical for children to be treated with respect and dignity and receive the care and protection to which they are entitled in accordance with child welfare best practices. As an organization that has supported the provision of legal services and representation to migrant children – many fleeing loss, persecution, trauma and extreme poverty in their native lands – for the last 15 years, we are concerned about any regulations or reinterpretation of existing law that diminish children’s legal protections or their access to the courts as they remain in government custody or navigate our complex immigration system.

The most basic needs of these children are being threatened at a time when they need care and support more than ever. At Vera, we stand with our allies to support these children and will continue to work to protect their fundamental right to due process and a fair day in court.