US states sue Trump administration over family separations

First legal challenge by 17 states over practice of separating migrant families at border

Demonstrators hold a banner during the Keep Families Together rally outside of the Homestead temporary shelter for unaccompanied migrant children in  Florida on Saturday. Photographer: Saul Martinez/Bloomberg

Demonstrators hold a banner during the Keep Families Together rally outside of the Homestead temporary shelter for unaccompanied migrant children in Florida on Saturday. Photographer: Saul Martinez/Bloomberg

 

Seventeen states, including Washington, New York and California, are suing to force the Trump administration to reunite migrant families who have been separated at the US-Mexico border.

The states, all led by Democratic attorneys general, joined Washington DC in filing the lawsuit in US district court in Seattle on Tuesday.

It is the first legal challenge by states over the practice.

Immigration authorities have separated about 2,300 children from their parents in recent weeks, sparking global outrage as images of weeping children emerged.

US president Donald Trump last week issued an executive order designed to end the practice, 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 says the migrants have been denied due process and their right to seek asylum.–AP