A coalition of ten state attorneys general has announced it will sue the Trump administration over its family separation policy. The planned lawsuit, which will be led by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, will be filed in the Western District of Washington.
“This is a rogue, cruel, and unconstitutional policy,” Ferguson said in a statement. “We’re going to put a stop to it.” The other states involved are California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. More states are expected to join the case after the lawsuit is filed.
According to the statement from Ferguson’s office, the lawsuit will allege that the Trump administration violated constitutional due process rights of the parents and children for separating them without a finding that the parent poses a threat to children. The suit will also allege the policy violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection, because it only targets people crossing from the southern border, not from anywhere else. The plaintiffs will also argue that it violates the Administrative Procedure Act because “it is arbitrary and capricious,” and noted that the administration has been violating U.S. asylum laws by turning people away at ports of entry.”
Ferguson and other attorneys general have been successful in other legal challenges to Trump administration policies, including litigation about the administration’s travel ban that was put into place at the beginning of President Trump’s term. The Supreme Court is expected to hand down its decision in Trump v. Hawaii before the end of its current term.