Golden Gate University Law Review


This Note focuses on families’ experiences in immigration detention centers, specifically how they are affected by the government practice of releasing children without simultaneously releasing their parents.

Section I provides the procedural and factual background of Flores v. Lynch, the recent history of family detention centers, and discusses the Ninth Circuit’s ruling of the case. Section II provides the argument that, although the Ninth Circuit’s holding is correct, the government refusing to release parents with their children is unconstitutional because it violates the parents’ fundamental right to custody over their biological child and family unity. Furthermore, this Note urges Congress to codify law to ensure the constitutional rights afforded to detained families are recognized and parents are released with their children