A coalition of 17 states filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from parents who have crossed the U.S. border without authorization.
The lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Seattle, Washington, argues that President Trump’s family separation policy violates federal asylum laws, Fifth Amendment guarantees of due process and equal protection, and the Administrative Procedure Act.
“The Policy, and the Trump Administration’s subsequent attempt to shield their facilities from state licensing standards, is an affront to States’ sovereign interests in enforcing their laws governing minimum standards of care for children, declaring the family unit to be a fundamental resource of American life that should be nurtured, and requiring the preservation of the parent-child relationship unless the child’s right to basic nurture, health, or safety is jeopardized,” the lawsuit reads, as reported by Politico.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the states were forced to act because of the risk to children’s health and safety.
“President Trump’s indifference towards the human rights of the children and parents who have been ripped away from one another is chilling,” Becerra said in a statement. “Today we are taking the Trump Administration to court because the safety, security and well-being of our children is too important to be threatened by a heartless political maneuver.”
The coalition of states joining in the lawsuit include California, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.