California is suing the Trump administration over its policy separating migrant children from their family members detained at the border, state Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Thursday.
"Children belong with their families, not alone and fearful in metal cages. We are filing this lawsuit because ripping children from their parents is unlawful, wrong and heartless," Becerra said in a statement. "Dividing families who are being persecuted and fleeing violence is simply appalling."
Becerra said California is joining with nine other states led by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson in filing suit. The action is expected to be filed next week.
He called President Donald Trump's executive order, signed Wednesday saying families would not be separated, an "empty and meaningless order that claims to take back policies that he put in place himself as a political stunt."
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Trump is pushing for a broader border security deal that includes funding of a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. He said on Twitter Thursday that his administration is "acting swiftly to address the illegal immigration crisis on the Southern Border. Loopholes in our immigration laws all supported by extremist open border Democrats...and that's what they are – extremist open border Democrats."
Becerra said the lawsuit will allege the Trump administration's actions violate the U.S. Constitution, and due process rights of "parents to be together with their children." They are calling for the president to "immediately...create a process to reunify the thousands of families torn apart by his cruel and unconstitutional policy."