Humane Treatment of Migrant Children and Families
Step 1: ACLU Lawsuit Filed
Step 2: Injunction Issued and Class Certified
Step 3 (Current Step): Reunification Deadline Missed
Before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California:
Declare the separation of Ms. L. and her daughter unlawful;
Preliminarily and permanently enjoin ICE from continuing to separate Ms. L. and her daughter;
Order ICE either to release Ms. L. and her daughter, or to detain them together;
Enjoin defendants from removing Ms. L. from the country until she is reunited with her daughter, in the event that Ms. L. is not granted asylum and permitted to remain in the United States; and
Order all other relief that is just and proper.
We write to implore you to intervene with immigration enforcement and put an end to the separation of parents and children. As pediatricians, it is our view that the separation of children from their parents as a tool of law enforcement to deter immigration is inhumane and counterproductive. Children may not even know why they were brought to the U.S. if their parent understandably chose to protect them from the dangerous circumstances that forced them to flee their home country.
We ask you to put children first and not exacerbate their suffering by the additional trauma of being separated from their parents. As children develop, their brains change in response to environments and experiences. The AAP looks forward to hearing from you on our request for a meeting. In the meantime, we urge you to publicly reject the separation of parents and children at our nation’s borders.
The states of Washington, California, Pennsylvania and North Carolina request that the Court enter a judgment against the United States and award the following relief:
a. Enjoin the United States from refusing to accept applications for asylum at a valid port of entry, and from criminally charging asylum applicants with illegal entry or re-entry if they present themselves at a valid port of entry;
b. Declare the United States’ family separation Policy unauthorized by or contrary to the Constitution and laws of the United States;
c. Enjoin the United States from enforcing the family separation Policy, including at all United States borders and ports of entry, pending further orders from this Court;
d. Order the United States to expeditiously reunite all children with parents from whom they have been separated pursuant to the Policy, unless a court of competent jurisdiction has found them to be unfit.
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