New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced Tuesday that the state will file a “multi-agency lawsuit against the Trump administration for violating the Constitutional rights of immigrant children and their families who have been separated at the border.”
Cuomo pointed to more than 70 children who are staying in federal shelters in New York, adding that the number is expected to increase as other facilities are contacted.
#BREAKING: New York State intends to file a multi-agency lawsuit against the Trump administration for violating the Constitutional rights of immigrant children and their families who have been separated at the border. pic.twitter.com/df497NyEnb
– Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) June 19, 2018
Cuomo plans to direct the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the Department of Health and the Office of Children and Family Services to commence legal action against the federal government’s “Separation of Families” policy.
The policy, a result of the administration’s “zero tolerance” for illegal border crossing from Mexico, prosecutes all adults caught illegally crossing, separating parents awaiting prosecution from children that accompany them. Border agents have reportedly separated 2,342 children from parents as part of the new policy since the strict enforcement began in April. Children stay in shelters until they are placed in foster care or with a legal guardian or family member.
Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSessions responds to Nazi comparisons: ‘They were keeping the Jews from leaving’ Laura Ingraham: Migrant child detention centers ‘essentially summer camps’ Senate chaplain offers prayer ‘as children are being separated from their parents’ MORE announced the policy last month, and the administration has said that the policies will help deter immigrants from making future attempts.
The announcement arrives comes just one day after Cuomo said on Monday that he will not deploy National Guard troops from New York state to the Southern border, citing the Trump administration’s “inhumane” immigration policy as justification for the refusal.
“The Trump Administration’s policy to tear apart families is a moral failing and a human tragedy,” Cuomo said in a statement on Tuesday. “We will not tolerate the Constitutional rights of children and their parents being violated by our federal government. New York will act and file suit to end this callous and deliberate attack on immigrant communities, and end this heartless policy once and for all.”
-Updated 5:14 p.m.