(UPI) — A federal judge in California has ruled a lawsuit against U.S. efforts to separate families in its crackdown on illegal immigration can go forward because it may violate the Constitution.
U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in his ruling Wednesday called the Trump administration’s process a “wrenching separation” of families.
“At a minimum, the facts alleged are sufficient to show the government conduct at issue ‘shocks the conscience’ and violates [immigrants’] constitutional right to family integrity,” Sabraw wrote.
The suit was filed by the ACLU in February after a Congolese woman was separated from her 7-year-old daughter at facilities more than 1,000 miles apart while seeking asylum in the United States.
The judge rejected the government’s argument that separating families cannot be challenged on constitutional grounds.
“Such conduct, if true … is brutal, offensive, and fails to comport with traditional notions of fair play and decency,” Sabraw continued.
The judge dismissed a separate challenge that argued separation of families violates asylum laws.
Last week, migrants rights activists called for international intervention in the United States’ push to separate children from parents crossing the border, a practice the Human Rights Watch has called “cruel.”
A coalition of four rights groups and legal organizations submitted a complaint to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights — a body of the Organization of American States — asking it to stop what it called “a human rights and humanitarian crisis perpetrated by the U.S. government.”
Last month, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions promised that 100 percent of immigrants who enter the United States unlawfully — including some seeking asylum — will be prosecuted.
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