Flores Settlement Agreement
President Clinton signed the Flores Settlement Agreement in 1997 to reform legal procedures surrounding immigrant minors.
The Flores Settlement Agreement originates from Reno v. Flores, a Circuit Court case wherein an immigrant minor, Jenny Flores, was detained alongside adults. In early 1997, President Clinton signed the FSA to resolve over a decade of “Flores” immigration cases stemming from 1985 Flores v. Meese. The FSA’s significant points include:
- The government must release children “without unnecessary delay” to the children’s parents, legal guardians, other adult relatives, or another individual designated by the parents/guardians.
- The government will put children in the “least restrictive” setting appropriate.
- The government will create and implement standards for the care and treatment of immigrant children in detention.
The FSA remains the primary legislation mandating child-parent separations and “catch-and-release” policies. Several Republicans, most notably Ted Cruz (R-TX), called on Congress to suspend the FSA in favor of other legislation. In 2019, President Trump and 20 states filed legal challenges for and against the FSA.