San Diego Judge Orders Federal Government to Reunite Migrant Families
SAN DIEGO -- U.S. immigration officials will no longer be allowed to separate children from their immigrant parents and will have to reunite the families they have torn apart said a federal judge on Tuesday.
San Diego based U.S. Court Judge Dana Sabraw issued the ruling dictating that children under the age of 5-years old will have to be reunited with their families within the next 14 days and all other children will have to be reunited with their families within the next 30 days.
The ruling also prohibits immigration officials from further separation of families, a course of action that President Trump was already heading towards when he signed an Executive Order saying immigrant families must be kept together.
“The facts set forth before the Court portray reactive governance—responses to address a chaotic circumstance of the Government’s own making,” said Judge Sabraw in his 24-page ruling.
The lawsuit was filed by an asylum-seeking mother from Congo who was separated from her daughter for over five months. A Brazilian mother was later added on as a plaintiff of the lawsuit.
She was separated from her son after being apprehended by Border Patrol officials and charged with illegal entry. She then served a 25-day sentence for the misdemeanor offense and was then released into immigration custody for asylum consideration. At this time she was not allowed to see her son and was only able to speak to him via telephone “a handful of times.”
The judge allowed the lawsuit to be expanded as a class-action suit to include all immigrant families in similar situations to the two plaintiffs.
“This situation has reached a crisis level. The news media is saturated with stories of immigrant families being separated at the border. People are protesting. Elected officials are weighing in. Congress is threatening action. Seventeen states have now filed a complaint against the Federal Government challenging the family separation practice.”