Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson will lead a coalition of state attorneys general in challenging the Trump Administration’s policy of forced family separation on the U.S. southern border.
The lawsuit, to be filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, was announced Thursday by Ferguson and Governor Jay inslee. The lawsuit alleges the Administration 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 plaintiffs also contend the policy is irrationally discriminatory, in violation of the constitutional guarantee of equal protection, because it targets only people crossing the southern border, and not anyone crossing the Northern border or entering the United States elsewhere. The states will also argue the Administration has been violating U.S. asylum laws by turning people away at ports of entry.
In addition, Ferguson says President Trump’s executive order to purportedly reverse his family separation policy does nothing to reunify families already torn apart by the policy.
The states set to join Washington’s lawsuit include Oregon, Massachusetts, California, Maryland, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Minnesota. Ferguson anticipates that additional states will join the litigation when it is filed. (Washington AG)