In a 25 page opinion issued late Friday, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee ruled that the Department of Homeland Security had violated an 18 year old agreement governing the detention of children. She found that the Central American refugee children held with their mothers at prisons in Texas and Pennsylvania suffered deplorable conditions. She also found “widespread and deplorable conditions in the holding cells of Border Patrol stations.” The Department of Homeland Security “failed to meet even the minimal standard” of “safe and sanitary” conditions at temporary holding cells,” she wrote.
Judge Gee informed the Department of Homeland Security that she would issue an injunction halting current child detention practices if the Feds do not make a compelling argument against it by August 3. The injunction, potentially releasing hundreds of children, would go into effect in 90 days.