Since the late 1990s, there has been an agreement in place designed to keep children of immigrants coming into Texas or other states in the least-restrictive setting possible. The so-called Flores agreement, based on a 1997 case, also requires children to be released to family members after 20 days of detention. The Department of Homeland Security is proposing an end to this policy, which could result in children and families being detained longer. Part of the reason for the move is to deter individuals from crossing the border illegally.
Immigrants who are detained in Texas and other states are not necessarily undocumented. In some cases, they are permanent residents or otherwise legally in the country but are being held based on criminal convictions that occurred years or decades ago. If the Trump administration has its way, it may also detain those who have used any form of public assistance. This would include the use of public housing or food stamps.
The Trump administration's controversial immigration policies suffered another legal setback on July 30 when a federal judge ordered that all children being detained at the Shiloh Residential Treatment Center in Texas be removed from the facility unless a psychiatrist or psychologist determines that they pose a risk to either themselves or others. The judge also ordered the Department of Health and Human Services to no longer administer powerful psychotropic drugs to children unless they have obtained permission from their parents or legal guardians.