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4 Unanswered Questions Surrounding Trump's Plan to Reunite Immigrant Families

4 Unanswered Questions Surrounding Trump's Plan to Reunite Immigrant Families

Immigrants who have been caught crossing the border illegally are housed inside the McAllen Border Patrol Station in McAllen, Texas, July 15, 2014. | (Photo:Reuters/Rick Loomis/Pool)

3. Will they be able to detain families together for a prolonged period of time?

Because of the 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement and federal court decisions, children are not allowed to stay in immigration detention facilities for periods of longer than 20 days in most cases.

Although the rule was originally intended to protect unaccompanied minors, it was extended in 2015 to cover children that cross the border illegally with the parents, requiring they be transferred to a facility for minors.

According to NBC News, Justice Department lawyers have said that the government must either separate the children from the parents or release the family while they wait for their immigration hearing. However, the Trump administration would not prefer to release the families because of fear that they won't show up for their deportation hearings.

Last week, the Department of Justice asked a federal judge to extend that 20-day limit.

Tom Bossert, Trump's former homeland security adviser, said Sunday on ABC News that he believes Trump's executive order that called for detaining families together will be struck down in court because of the issue surrounding the Flores agreement.

"This executive order the president put out to try to fix this problem is going to run headlong into the 9th Circuit judge that decided in 2015 that even detaining with parents is inhumane," Bossert said.

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