A Policy of Unmitigated Cruelty
The legal question is whether children arrested by immigration officials are entitled to minimally decent standards of detention, including a bond hearing before an immigration judge. Federal courts, including the Ninth Circuit, say they do. The Department of Justice agreed in 1997, when it settled the Flores class action.
That’s one way the Department of Justice has tried for decades to absolve itself of responsibility for the inhuman conditions in immigration prisons: by claiming it’s all up to the private prisons.But the Trump administration says it need not abide by the court order in Flores because it doesn’t want to. It says it can lock up children and give them unappealable bonds so high they’ll agree to be deported because the alternative would be indefinite detention under miserable, virtually unsupervised conditions.
On Monday the Ninth Circuit told U.S. Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III: Don’t you understand what law means?