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Attorney General Josh Stein Works to Protect Children from Trump Administration Family Separation Policy

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(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today took legal action to protect children by challenging the Trump administration’s policy of forced family separation on the U.S. southern border.

“Like millions of North Carolinians, I watched in horror as the Trump administration stripped thousands of children away from their parents,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Today, along with 17 of my colleagues, I am going to court to make sure that the administration permanently ends this offense and quickly reunites the affected families.”

The states’ lawsuit alleges the administration has violated these families’ constitutional due process rights by separating them without any finding that the parent poses a threat to the children. The policy also violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection; it targets only people crossing our southern border, not anyone crossing the northern border or entering the United States elsewhere. The states also argue that this policy violates the Administrative Procedure Act because it is arbitrary and capricious and violates U.S. asylum laws by turning people away at ports of entry.The President’s executive order does not undo the damage. The order fails to set forth a plan to reunify families already torn apart by the Trump administration’s family separation policy.

Also, the order is contingent on future actions that may or may not occur. Specifically, the order requires Congress to appropriate funding and a federal judge to approve a plan to indefinitely detain children – neither of which may happen.In addition to his lawsuit, Attorney General Stein also wrote Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Commissioner Thomas Homan, Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan and Office of Refugee Resettlement Administration for Children and Families Director Scott Lloyd to urge those organizations to provide to the North Carolina Department of Justice a list of case numbers for any parents separated from their children and children separated from their parents who have been or will be moved to North Carolina. Attorney General Stein also asked for a list of facilities at which these parents and children are held or housed. That letter is attached to this email.

Attorney General Stein is joined in this action by the attorneys general of Washington, Massachusetts, California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.

Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484


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