States sue Trump on immigrant families, as Congress quarrels
More than a dozen states sued the Trump administration on Tuesday over its separation of migrant children and parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying President Donald Trump’s order last week ending the breakups was illusory, APA reports quoting Reuters.
In a complaint filed with U.S. District Court in Seattle, 17 states and the District of Columbia argued the administration’s policy was unconstitutional in part because it was “motivated by animus and a desire to harm” immigrants arriving from Latin America.
“The new federal executive order does not bring back together the thousands of families that were torn apart by the federal government’s policy, and it does not prevent families from being separated in the future,” Illinois Democratic Attorney General Lisa Madigan said in a statement announcing the lawsuit.
The family separations began because of the administration’s 2-month-old “zero tolerance” policy of seeking to prosecute all adults who cross the border illegally, including those traveling with children.
But Trump backtracked last Wednesday amid mounting global outrage, including images of children in cages.
The Republican president’s order ending the family separations did not explain how his aggressive immigration policies could be adjusted to keep families intact, house them and assess their legal status.
Although the administration has said the zero tolerance policy remains in place, officials said on Monday that parents who crossed illegally with their children would not face prosecution, for the time being, because the government was running short of space to house them.
Before Trump issued his order last week, more than 2,300 children had been separated from their parents under his policy. The government has yet to reunite about 2,000 children with their parents, and those youngsters are now scattered across the country, some in foster homes and others in institutions, their whereabouts often unknown to their parents.
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