Mexico 'evaluating' legal action against migrant minor detention rule

Mexico 'evaluating' legal action against migrant minor detention rule

The Mexican federal government said late Wednesday it is concerned about the Trump administration's decision to rescind the Flores Settlement Agreement, a regulation that currently prevents the immigration detention of minors for more than 20 days.

In a press release from the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs, Mexico said it will "evaluate corresponding legal alternatives."

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The Department of Homeland Security announced Wednesday a new administrative rule to replace Flores, a regulation put in place to ensure judicial supervision of the federal government's treatment of migrant minors.

Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said the new plan would keep asylum-seeking families together in detention while they undergo their immigration court cases, a process that can take anywhere from a few weeks to several years.

McAleenan also touted the federal government's family detention centers' educational, medical and recreational facilities.

Mexico vowed to "give prompt follow up to the conditions in those centers and to continue giving assistance and consular protection to the Mexican families that are detained under these new circumstances."

A majority of families seeking asylum in the United States come from Central America through Mexico, but a substantial number of Mexican nationals still live in the United States without papers and cross into the United States monthly without prior authorization.

In fiscal 2019 through July, 3,699 Mexicans traveling as family units were apprehended crossing into the United States illegally.

Still, the number of undocumented Mexicans in the United States has decreased dramatically, dropping to 4.9 million people in 2017 from 6.9 million in 2007, according to the Pew Research Center.

Mexico has a history of litigation against the U.S. federal government in support of migrant claims, both in U.S. and international courts.

Mexico's 50 consulates in the United States are the single largest consular network maintained by any one country in any other.