Three fathers who attempted to enter the U.S. with their children are suing the government for millions of dollars.
The migrant parents allege that the separation from their children at the U.S. border caused lasting harm for the families, according to a news release from the Southern Poverty Law Center and the law firm of Covington & Burlington.
The claims, filed this week by the law firm and advocacy group on behalf of three fathers, “describe in agonizing detail the experiences of the fathers and children: their forcible separation, their suffering in custody for months, the deportation of the fathers without their children, and the ongoing fallout the families are enduring,” according to the news release.
“Thousands of children, parents and entire families will suffer the rest of their lives as a result of this administration’s intentionally cruel family separations,” Michelle Lapointe, SPLC senior supervising attorney, said. “The government separated families with a full understanding of the extent of the unspeakable impact this would have on the victims, including vulnerable children. This administration did so not in spite of the harm it would cause, but because of it, and now the government must be held accountable. This is particularly important as we continue to receive reports of unjustified and illegal separations of families at the border, well after the practice supposedly ended.”
The parents, who are ultimately responsible for endangering their children by making the journey to the U.S. border, are reportedly dealing with guilt and anxiety. The filings claim the fathers “were deported without their children and had to wait months to be reunited. All three children continue to suffer from nightmares, separation anxiety, and behavioral problems. Their fathers and extended families also continue to suffer.”
In addition to the claims filed Thursday, the SPLC and Covington & Burling have pending complaints for two other fathers filed in April.
Thursday’s claims seek $3 million for each person, for a total of $6 million for each separated family, the SPLC told CNN. The fathers can go on to sue the government in federal court if there is no response to the claims within six months.
“The damage done to these fathers, their children and their entire families can never be undone,” Jay Carey, a partner at the law firm, said. “But, those responsible for their suffering can and must be held responsible, and a message must be sent — especially to this administration — that such cruelty is unconscionable and will not be tolerated.”
Reaction to the lawsuit and the claims made were swift on social media, where many called out the parents for putting their children in harm’s way and for frivolous lawsuits brought by those not even in the U.S.
— Grand Admiral Nick (@admiral_nick) July 25, 2019
WHY would these families do this to their kids, THEN blame America???? They’re free to take their kids, turn around and leave….CNN NEVER brings up that point!!
— Sydney BB Kelly (@poppybren) July 25, 2019
I broke the law and the consequences caused me distress. Give me money.
— Marcelle Cooper (@marcellemcooper) July 25, 2019
Suing for breaking the law themselves?
— Jeff (Hefé) (@ThaBKeeper) July 25, 2019
I guess we need to compensate everyone in US separated from family due to being incarcerated. Hmm crime does pay after all. Maybe the parents should be convicted of abuse for committing a crime that made their family suffer on top of the actual crime.
— beeguy (@Livndust) July 25, 2019
Let them try to enter nearly any other country illegally and they may not even get to keep living.
— L Fraz (@Ima_Pat) July 25, 2019
The article only references one father, R.Z.G. who was separated from his child at a POE so it’s safe to infer the others entered illegally. He’s also the only one it’s suggested was deported without his child. As for why they were separated, there’s clearly more to the story. pic.twitter.com/I9zLGZsdZk
— Hart Celler (@8USC12) July 26, 2019
Boo hoo……enter illegally expect consequences. Obama not only separated families he deported parents, put kids in US foster care which is why ACLU Sued his Administration August 2014.
— Yeeeech (@Yeeeeeech) July 25, 2019
Every father/mother who has ever been to jail/prison should do the same. Bankrupt the entire country simply by paying out billions to CRIMINALS that had to face consequences for their CRIMINAL actions. Actions which they willingly chose to participate in. Who falls for this crap?
— B. O’Brien (@BillyO1026) July 25, 2019
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