AG Balderas Files Multistate Lawsuit Challenging Trump Administration’s Dangerous & Illegal Family Separation Policy


Contact: James Hallinan (505) 660-2216

Las Cruces, NM – Attorney General Hector Balderas today filed a multistate lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s dangerous and illegal policy of forced family separation on the U.S. southern border. In addition to New Mexico 16 other states and the District of Columbia joined the lawsuit, filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. Attorney General Hector Balderas previously led a letter signed by 21 attorneys general demanding that United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions immediately stop putting children in danger by separating them from their families.

“The Trump Administration continues to focus on putting children in cages and cold jail cells over attacking crimes like human and drug trafficking at the border,” said Attorney General Hector Balderas. “As a border state attorney general from a minority-majority state, I can tell you first hand that this failed policy is harming my ability to combat serious international crimes, coordinate with Mexican law enforcement to bring back fugitives, and protect all children.”

The states’ lawsuit alleges the Administration has violated the constitutional due process rights of the parents and children by separating them as a matter of course and without any finding that the parent poses a threat to the children. The policy is also irrationally discriminatory, in violation of the constitutional guarantee of equal protection, because it targets only people crossing our southern border, and not anyone crossing the northern border or entering the United States elsewhere. The states also argue that this policy is arbitrary and capricious, and that the Administration has been violating U.S. asylum laws by turning people away at ports of entry.

The states joining the lawsuit include: New Mexico, Massachusetts, California, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

Click here for a copy of the lawsuit –