Amid an global outcry, President Donald Trump last week issued an executive order to stop the separation of families and said parents and children will instead be detained together. It also requires the government to provide phone contact between parents and their children within 10 days.
Other comparisons have been made to the Nazis separating children from their parents as they locked Jews in death camps during World War II and Native American children being separated by authorities from their families in the 1890s and sent off to government- or church-sponsored boarding schools to be Americanized.
In a complaint filed with U.S. District Court in Seattle, 17 states and the District of Columbia argued the administration's policy was unconstitutional in part because it was "motivated by animus and a desire to harm" immigrants arriving from Latin America. It found fresh attention soon after Trump took office, resurrected under a president who once called Mexicans "rapists" and now warns that migrants will "infest" the United States.
But the states say his order is riddled with caveats and fails to reunite parents and children who have already been torn apart.
The lawsuit pointed out that even NY children who live in foster care were afforded more rights than their immigrant counterparts, and provided regular visitation rights even when one or both parents are incarcerated. That's why the American people are sick of the lip service and the hypocrisy.
We were relieved on Wednesday when President Trump and administration officials bowed to public pressure to stop this abhorrent practice.
In a May appearance in San Diego, Sessions announced the new zero-tolerance policy, which relied on family separation to make visible the negative consequences of illegal entry.
After expressing reluctance in May to get too deeply involved in immigration enforcement decisions, the judge who issued Tuesday's ruling was clearly influenced by Trump's reversal last week and the Homeland Security Department's statement on its family reunification plan Saturday night, which, he said, left many questions unanswered. People are protesting. Elected officials are weighing in.
Outside the USA attorney's office, protesters carried signs reading, "Free the children!" and "Stop caging families".
Later, protesters gathered outside the hotel where Sessions was scheduled to speak. They were handcuffed by police and led away.