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STATEMENT: Mayor Durkan Condemns Trump Administration’s Effort to Withdraw from the Flores Settlement Agreement and Expand Family Detention

Seattle (August 21, 2019) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan today issued the following statement condemning the Trump administration’s effort to withdraw from the Flores Settlement Agreement and replace it with a new rule that would eliminate safeguards that prevent the indefinite detention of children.

Under the Flores Settlement Agreement, the government may not keep migrant children in border detention facilities for more than 20 days. If enacted, the new rule would expand the number of migrants in family detention and ensure that parents and children remain in dangerous and inhumane facilities for longer periods of time.

“Last summer, I went to Tornillo, Texas, which is the site of a federal detention facility for immigrants, many of whom have come to our country fleeing violence and seeking asylum. In Tornillo, I saw hundreds of children living in a makeshift site in the middle of the desert, in inhumane and dangerous conditions.

“We know that the Trump administration defied the Court’s order and continues to separate families at the border and put children in those same inhumane and dangerous environments. And today, the administration is looking to withdraw from the Flores Settlement Agreement, which provides necessary protections for immigrant children from administrations that would seek to harm them. Administrations like this one.

“Every day, it seems we wake up to new cruel and hateful policies like this one. Too many people have been hurt. We must and will fight the president’s anti-immigrant and anti-family agenda – and we will win.”

Seattle is a Welcoming City: Immigrants and refugees are welcome here. For more information on our Welcoming City policies, please visit the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs’ website.