Attorney General Becerra to Co-Lead Multistate Lawsuit Challenging Trump Administration Over Family Separation Policy

Thursday, June 21, 2018
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Attorneys general to ask Trump Administration to create process to reunify thousands of families

SACRAMENTO — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced that he will join a coalition of 10 states led by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson in filing a lawsuit against the Trump Administration over the cruel and unlawful policy of forcibly separating children from their parents without any legitimate justification.

“Children belong with their families, not alone and fearful in metal cages. We are filing this lawsuit because ripping children from their parents is unlawful, wrong and heartless,” said Attorney General Becerra. “President Trump yesterday signed an empty and meaningless order that claims to take back policies that he put in place himself as a political stunt. Meanwhile these children, their parents, and people around the world need answers regarding what comes next. This policy could have devastating consequences on children’s health and wellbeing. Dividing families who are being persecuted and fleeing violence is simply appalling. Separating children from their families is a new low, even for the Trump Administration.”

The lawsuit will allege that the Trump Administration’s family separation policy violates the fundamental due process rights of parents to be together with their children, as well as other constitutional and statutory claims. The Attorneys General ask the Trump Administration to immediately address the inadequacies in the President’s executive order and create a process to reunify the thousands of families torn apart by his cruel and unconstitutional policy. 

Earlier this week, Attorney General Becerra joined New Mexico Attorney General Hector H. Balderas and 19 others in demanding the U.S. Department of Justice immediately end its separation policy. In their letter, the Attorneys General explain how these compulsory separations create serious concerns regarding the violation of children’s rights, constitutional principles of due process and equal protection.

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