Washington Free Beacon editor-in-chief Matthew Continetti defended the Trump administration's move to end the Flores Settlement Agreement during an appearance on Fox News' Special Report Wednesday evening. The administration is attempting to replace the Flores Agreement with a rule that would expand the amount of time families could remain in detention at the border. The agreement currently restricts the amount of time children can be detained for at 20 days.
The administration has been trying unsuccessfully to end the agreement for more than a year, and the new rule will not go into effect until it passes judicial muster.
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"The government will now seek to terminate the Flores Settlement Agreement, a loophole that results in most alien families being released into the country after 20 days … The decades-old Flores agreement is outdated and fails to account for the massive shift in illegal immigration to families and minors in Central America," the White House said in a statement.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) blasted the rule in a statement, saying, "The cruelty of the Trump administration knows no bounds. Make no mistake: this new rule is about letting President Trump and Stephen Miller keep children in awful conditions for longer periods of times and continue the administration's horrid treatment of innocent migrant families fleeing unthinkable hardship."
"For years, coyotes and human traffickers have been exploiting the loopholes in our asylum laws that were exacerbated by this Flores consent degree in 1997," Continetti said. "This rule is the Trump administration's attempt to rectify that, and in order to bring some standards of care for the children and keep the families together, which is precisely what I thought most reasonable people wanted."
"To describe this policy as cruel is batty," he added.