17 states sue Trump administration over family separations
- Seventeen states, including Washington, New York and California, sued Trump’s administration in an effort to force officials to reunite migrant families who have been separated at the US-Mexico border
- The states, all led by Democratic attorneys general, joined Washington, DC in the first legal challenge by states over the Trump administration’s recent policy of splitting children from migrant families who may have crossed the border illegally
A federal judge has ruled that US immigration agents could no longer separate immigrant parents and children caught crossing the border from Mexico illegally, and must reunite those families that had been split up in custody.
United States District Court Judge Dana Sabraw granted the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit filed over the family separations.
More than 2,300 migrant children were separated from their parents after US President Donald Trump’s administration began a “zero tolerance” policy in early May, seeking to prosecute all adults who crossed the border illegally, including those traveling with children.
“The facts set forth before the court portrays reactive governance responses to address a chaotic circumstance of the government’s own making,” Sabraw wrote. “They belie measured and ordered governance, which is central to the concept of due process enshrined in our Constitution.” Sabraw ordered the government to reunite parents with their children younger than 5 years old within 14 days of the order, and children 5 years old and older within 30 days of the order.
Sabraw’s ruling could force the administration to rapidly address confusion left by Trump’s order, and government agencies to scramble to reunite families. The administration can appeal.