22 State Attorneys General Demand Trump to Stop Separating Families

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas together with 21 other Democratic state attorneys general are urging Trump’s administration to stop separating families caught crossing the border illegally.

“The policy is not only inhumane, but it also raises serious concerns regarding the violation of children’s rights, constitutional principles of due process and equal protection, and the efforts of state law enforcement officials to stop crime,” the attorneys general said in the letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Director Kirstjen Nielson on Tuesday. “Because of these concerns, we demand that the Department of Justice immediately cease these draconian practices.”

Sessions in April said that undocumented immigrants, including those seeing asylum, would be prosecuted for illegally crossing the border as part of Trump’s new “zero tolerance” immigration policy, under which adults who enter the United States will be brought to federal prisons, instead of immigrant detention centers, and their children will be treated as “unaccompanied minors” and forcibly placed into the care of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Since the policy was announced the Associated Press reported that 2,300 children have been separated from their parents and are being held in warehouses, tents, cages and big box stores.

“Put simply, the deliberate separation of children and their parents who seek lawful asylum in America is wrong,” Balderas said in a statement. “This practice is contrary to American values and must be stopped.”

The letter also urges the Trump administration to reverse its decision not to grant asylum to victims of gang violence and domestic abuse.

The letter was signed by attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.


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