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Immigrant Families Sue for Millions Over Separation

By Ceylan Pumphrey, Esq. on February 14, 2019 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

President Trump's strong stance against illegal immigration has been clear from the very beginning. While many of his comments have been controversial, his administration's policy of separating children from their parents at the border probably caused the most uproar. In fact, eight immigrant families who were affected by this policy have filed claims for millions in damages. The claim filed with the Department of Health and Human Services is the first step in suing the federal government as required by the Federal Tort Claims Act.

What Are the Families Claiming?

When the government began separating immigrant families trying to cross the border illegally, it said it was in order to prosecute the parents. The claim, however, alleges that the real motivation for the separations was to discourage immigration, particularly from Central American asylum-seekers. According to the claim, "the most senior members of the U.S. government intentionally chose to cause parents and small children extraordinary pain and suffering in order to accomplish their policy objectives."

In their claim, the families say that U.S. government employees misled them and mocked them while taking their children away. They further claim that even after being reunited with their parents, the children are still traumatized. More specifically, the claim alleges that the separation policy was a violation of the families' due process rights to family integrity under the Fifth Amendment. As per the American Immigration Council press release, who is representing the families, each family is seeking $3 million in damages.

Immigration is a complicated area of law, so if you have questions, it's best to speak with a local attorney who can not only answer your questions but also help you file any necessary paperwork.

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