Lawyers in talks over the Obama administration’s family detention policy have agreed to extend discussions for a third time.
Department of Justice officials are negotiating with a group of immigration lawyers over the circumstances and how long migrant mothers and children can be detained.
The two sides have agreed to continue negotiations until July 10. They plan to issue a joint report to the judge by July 17.
U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee of the Central District of California granted the extension late Thursday night, but said she “will not look favorably upon any further” requests for more time.
In a joint statement to the court, the lawyers said the case was complex. Talks were moving forward, but they said needed additional time to address the many statutes, regulations and court orders involved. They said they also needed input and consent from different agencies in the federal government.
The two sides have been locked in intense talks since April when Judge Gee distributed a draft ruling that the administration’s family detention program violated parts of a 1997 agreement on detaining child migrants.
Instead of issuing an official ruling, the judge gave the two sides 30 days to come up with a new deal that addressed those violations. She approved two delays since.
The Obama administration operates three family detention centers in Berks County, Pa., and Karnes City and Dilley, Texas, holding more than 2,500 parents and children.