For weeks, we have worked together with our Senate colleagues in a bipartisan fashion to solve this crisis. After countless hours of discussion, we believe the path forward is a relatively simple one. First, Congress needs to make clear that the Flores consent decree does not apply to family units. The Flores consent decree and the standards of care required for unaccompanied minor children would remain in effect, but federal authorities would have the ability to keep families together pending the outcome of their immigration case.
Second, Congress needs to codify the high humane standards we expect families to be treated with while they are kept in federal custody in family residential centers. The public is right to be concerned that individuals may receive inadequate care and shelter, and Congress should ensure that no one is treated with any less dignity than they deserve.
Third, and finally, Congress should authorize and appropriate money for more immigration judges, so that cases can be adjudicated and resolved quickly. Keeping families in federal custody temporarily is an appropriate policy solution to this crisis, but only if cases are resolved expeditiously.