Many immigrants in Kentucky and nationwide are seeking asylum from countries where it is no longer safe for them to live. America is the land of the free, where even immigrants have rights. However, what if these immigrants find that their rights are being violated?
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a class-action suit claiming that the Trump administration is unlawfully keeping immigrant parents apart from their children while their asylum proceedings are pending. According to the lawsuit, the government has no legitimate reason for forcibly separating families this way. They claim this violates the due process clause of the United States Constitution and federal law. The Trump administration has denied these allegations.
Specifically, the lawsuit alleges the government is separating mothers from their children for reasons not related to protecting the child. According to court papers, there have been as many as 429 cases of such separations at the border. For example, one of the plaintiffs came to the United States with her child, age seven, seeking asylum. The two were detained together initially, but then the mother was transported to a detention center in California while her child was sent to a facility in Illinois. The mother was eventually released from government custody, but her child was not.
This situation is certainly disturbing, and it is hoped that this lawsuit will be successful in keeping families together. Families seeking asylum deserve to be treated with due process and all other rights they are entitled to. Those who feel their rights have been violated or who have questions about lawful permanent residency may want to seek the assistance of an immigration attorney.
Source: CNN, “ACLU class action lawsuit seeks to block immigrant family separations,” Ariane de bogue and Tal Kopan, March 9, 2018