PNS Daily Newscast - January 18, 2019. 

A blockbuster storm forecast to bring major snowfall to the Midwest today, Northeast over the weekend. Also on the Friday rundown: Women’s Marches planned across the nation tomorrow; plus Democrats slog through Iowa on path to the White House.

Daily Newscasts

Executive Order Threatens ‘Flores’ Protections for Undocumented Children

According to the American Immigration Council, more than 285,000 Tennesseans have at least one immigrant parent. (amberley johanna/Flickr)
According to the American Immigration Council, more than 285,000 Tennesseans have at least one immigrant parent. (amberley johanna/Flickr)
October 18, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee has been the site of at least one federal raid that resulted in the detention of undocumented workers.

While some of those workers remain in custody, new federal recommendations could dismantle the constitutional protections for their children.

The Trump administration has proposed amendments to Flores v. Reno, also known as the Flores Settlement Agreement. The 1997 agreement requires the government to release children from immigration detention without unnecessary delay to their parents, other adult relatives or licensed programs.

Shadi Houshyar, director of Early Childhood and Child Welfare Initiatives for the advocacy group Families USA, says proposed regulations would terminate so-called Flores protections 45 days after they're finalized.

"It's going to allow the government to hold immigrant families indefinitely,” she points out. “It's going to allow them to hold more families.

“It's going to remove some basic protections for children. It's going to weaken protections for unaccompanied children who are here without their parents or relatives."

The proposal by the Trump administration has a 60-day comment period, which ends Nov. 6.

Flores advocates are convinced the proposed changes would expand detention centers and weaken safety regulations.

In Houshyar's opinion, the lack of basic standards related to food, housing and safety in detention facilities makes the proposal dangerous for children.

"We have all of these things that are sort of compounding stressors for children, and immigrant children and families in this country right now and they're sort of all coming to a head together, and then we have the proposed rule that was set out on the Flores Settlement Agreement," she stresses.

As the number of children held in detention increases, federal protections are waning.

This month, U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) introduced the No Internment Camps Act to end the use of detention centers for immigrant families waiting for asylum hearings.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - TN