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A boy and father from Honduras are taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol agents near the U.S.-Mexico Border near Mission, Texas. President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday ending family separation at the border. Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

Trump administration plans to detain migrant families longer, despite court agreement

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s administration is planning to circumvent a longstanding court agreement on how children are treated in immigration custody, meaning families will be detained longer.

The Department of Homeland Security announced Thursday it would terminate the agreement, which requires the government to release immigrant children generally after 20 days in detention. It would instead adopt regulations that administration officials say will provide for proper care of minors but allow for changes to deter migrants illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

The 1997 case that spawned the agreement will almost certainly land back in court. U.S. District Court Judge Dolly M. Ghee already rejected a request by administration lawyers this year to allow for longer family detention.

Advocates for immigrant families have opposed Trump’s detention policies.

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