Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) says he is opposed to President Trump’s policy of separating immigrant families. He is not, however, opposed to indefinitely detaining toddlers and babies.
On Wednesday morning, Rubio coined a #DetainandMaintain hashtag meant to express support for legislation that would overturn a policy that prevents children from being indefinitely detained.
Returning to a policy that only adults with children are released would create an incentive to bring kids. Yes separating families is cruel,but so is a policy that encourages parents to bring their kids on a dangerous journey. Instead lets #DetainandMaintain families together
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) June 20, 2018
Currently, the so-called 1997 “Flores settlement” prevents the government from detaining undocumented children who are apprehended crossing the border for long periods of time.
Human Rights First summarizes the agreement’s main points.
1. The government is required to release children from immigration detention without unnecessary delay to, in order of preference, parents, other adult relatives, or licensed programs willing to accept custody.
2. If a suitable placement is not immediately available, the government is obligated to place children in the “least restrictive” setting appropriate to their age and any special needs.
3. The government must implement standards relating to the care and treatment of children in immigration detention.
Rubio supports legislation that would overturn the Flores settlement and allow undocumented children to be detained along with their parents — ending family separation, but effectively imprisoning kids for doing nothing wrong.