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Children Separated From Parents At US-Mexico Border Sue Federal Government

July 06, 2018 - 10:06 am

HARTFORD, Conn. (WCBS 880) -- Two immigrant children taken from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border and relocated 2,000 miles away to a facility in Connecticut are suing the federal government.

The lawsuits filed on behalf of the children, identified as J.S.R. and V.F.B., seek immediate reunification and cite psychological and emotional trauma caused by the separations.

"The legal claim here is that the government is violating due process because the separation of these children from their families fails to serve a legitimate government interest but it puts the children under enormous hardship," Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal said. "The goal is reunification."

According to court papers, J.S.R. is a 9-year-old boy who fled  Honduras with his father after the child's grandparents were murdered. The lawsuit claims agents took the boy while he slept in a Texas facility.

V.F.B., a 14-year-old girl, and her mother escaped persecution in El Salvador. Government officials told the girl she was going off to bathe and then never returned to her mother, the lawsuit alleges.

Lawyers argue this separation is cruel and could cause lingering psychological and emotional trauma.

"The lawsuit asks that the parents be released and moved to Connecticut so that the children can be with their parents as they seek to resolve their legal status," Blumenthal said.

The children are being represented by attorneys with Connecticut Legal Services and the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at Yale Law School.

There has been no comment from the federal government.