Over a Dozen States Suing Trump to Reunite Families - Cortney O'Brien

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Authorities Abandon 'Zero-Tolerance' for Immigrant Families

Immigration authorities have separated about 2,300 children from their parents in recent weeks, sparking global outrage as images and recordings of weeping children emerged. It also ordered the government to provide telephone contact between parents and their children within 10 days.

A NY judge says the government acted unlawfully by requiring some immigrant children to be kept detained until an agency's director approved their release.

The following states filed suit Tuesday: Minnesota, Washington, North Carolina, California, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Oregon, New Mexico, New Jersey, Iowa, Illinois, Rhode Island, New York, Vermont, Delaware and MA. Sabraw denied the administration's attempt to toss out the suit.

Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, who oversees the Border Patrol, said unless agents can separate families, they can't prosecute the parents. "The unfortunate reality is that under the present system migrant children are not accounted for with the same efficiency and accuracy as property".

"This situation has reached a crisis level", Sabraw wrote.

Democrats have harshly criticized the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy, which has resulted in the separation of migrant families.

Yet there are significant doubts about whether separations will stop in the longer term or if there will be a return to family detention - which raises capacity and legal questions about how long the government can lock up children.

Otherwise, the administration says, "lawlessness at the border will continue". The directive hasn't taken effect because it requires a judge to first amend a 1997 settlement agreement that governs how the U.S. treats undocumented minors who've been detained. The boy was also sent to a Chicago shelter, and Ms. C was jailed for 25 days for misdemeanor entry. He said he can't recall a case where the agency placed a child with a parent or relative who was in detention. The group traveled to McAllen to pray for detained immigrants.

Robert Carey led the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement during the Obama administration.

More than 2,000 children were separated from their parents under the measure.

US defense officials said the administration had chosen two military bases in Texas to house detained migrants.

To hear more about the ACLU's case, PRI's The World spoke with Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project in NY, and lead counsel in the case.

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The World: What is at the heart of the ACLU's lawsuit? .

The attorneys general are seeking a court order halting the separation process and forcing the government to reunite families.

Carey says the agency will likely struggle to link children with their parents, especially if the parents are still detained or have already been deported.

"We're not changing the policy", she told reporters.

However, he also said the Trump administration would "do everything in our power to avoid separating families".

The order stems from a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of San Diego in February 2018, months before Attorney General Jeff Sessions formally announced the beginning of a "zero-tolerance policy", requiring United States attorneys at the border to charge and prosecute people arriving at the border with illegal entry and reentry. Is that the case? What we're saying is, of course, we don't want children sent to smugglers, but there is another way to verify whether someone is the actual parent. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record about a pending announcement. Government lawyers were expected to ask a judge for permission to let the families stay together until their immigration cases are completed.

"I think there is very, very powerful consensus on both sides of the aisle that reunification should be done immediately", Blumenthal said.

The rule pertains to children who have spent time in more restrictive custodial settings.

The injunction is in effect unless the appeals court puts a stay on it. "These stories are gut-wrenching and heartbreaking of children 6 and 7 years old, separated from their parents, not know where they are and the parents not knowing where their children are". "You have to go in through a legal process, '" Trump said. The mother was fleeing danger. "Or it could take a month, two months, six or even nine". They've finally been reunited in the US.

Trump critics say he's been chipping away at empathy for migrants with rhetoric portraying them in blanket fashion as criminals.

"Nobody likes seeing babies ripped from their mothers' arms, from their mothers' wombs, frankly, but we have to make sure that DHS's laws are understood through the soundbite culture that we live in", Conway said, according to the complaint.

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