Judge orders government to ‘expeditiously’ house migrant children

According to the order, the government must place minors in “safe and sanitary facilities.”

A federal judge has ordered that the U.S. Government “expeditiously house” children who enter the country illegally, rather than allowing them to remain in the open along the border.

The majority of the order, issued by U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee late on Wednesday evening in California, was in favor the attorneys who represented the minors in the lawsuit.

The Department of Homeland Security was given legal custody of these children. They are entitled to protection and rights even before they have been formally processed.

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Justice Department lawyers argued that since the children were not formally arrested, they weren’t in Homeland Security custody and therefore, Homeland Security didn’t need to provide these protections.

Gee wrote that the federal government should “rapidly process” any minors under their care, and then place them in “safe and sanitary facilities consistent with DHS concerns for minors’ particular vulnerability.”

The New York Times reported that a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official would not comment on this lawsuit. However, he did say that the immigration system is not prepared to deal with the record number of illegal immigrants who arrive at the border. He said the order was not accompanied by additional resources that would have allowed the agency to follow it more easily.