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Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219


For media inquiries only, contact:  
Charlotte Gomer, Press Secretary
Phone: (804)786-1022 
Mobile: (804) 512-2552
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


~ Herring joins coalition condemning proposed rule to circumvent Flores Agreement, which provides important protections for migrant children in detention ~

RICHMOND (November 7, 2018) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring today joined a coalition of 18 attorneys general, to submit a comment letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) expressing significant concerns with their proposed regulations that would roll back protections for children held in immigrant detention facilities. Those protections are the result of a settlement in prior litigation, the Flores Settlement Agreement, which has afforded all immigrant children a right to be released from detention, set standards for their conditions of confinement, and provided meaningful oversight and monitoring of their care while in custody. The Administration is seeking to replace the protections in the settlement agreement with the new, less protective regulations.


"The Trump Administration has shown they will continue to ignore the protections granted to immigrant children," said Attorney General Herring. "It is time these kids are removed from detention and are either reunited with family members or folks from the community who will provide a temporary home for them. The way the Trump Administration has treated these children is not who we are as a country and I will continue to work with my colleagues to insure that they are treated with respect."


In the comment letter, the states:

  • Describe how the proposed rule contradicts important protections guaranteed by the Flores Settlement Agreement, including the presumption that all children are eligible for release into the community;
  • Address constitutional concerns with the indefinite detention of children;
  • Call attention to the evidence showing that detention is not a deterrent to immigration;
  • Highlight how the proposed rule undermines state licensing of children’s residential placements, which is a fundamental police power traditionally belonging to the States; and
  • Discuss the ample evidence of lasting harm to children from detention.


Attorney General Herring is joined by the attorneys general of California, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.