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NY Moving Forward With Lawsuit After Trump's About-Face On Child Separation

Andrew Cuomo
Andrew Cuomo Photo Credit: Contributed

Although President Donald Trump has reversed course from his administration’s policy of separating migrant families crossing the United States border from their parents, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is moving forward with a lawsuit against the administration.

Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that ends the administration’s policy, and in effect, abandoning the president’s previous stance that only Congress can fix the problem.

Trump told reporters this week that he “didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated. (He) thinks anybody with a heart would feel strongly about it. We don’t like to see families separated.”

On MSNBC on Wednesday, Cuomo told Andrea Mitchell that his office is “going ahead” with a potential lawsuit.

“This was a clear legal violation of the due process of the children and of their parents. In the United States of America, even non-citizens, undocumented people still have fundamental rights and one of them is due process and that's been violated,” he said. “Let's remember what this is all about. When Sessions changed the policy to the so-called ‘zero tolerance’ policy on April 7, what they then decided to do was arrest everyone at the border in effect. 

"Once they decided to do that and people were arrested, they had to separate the children. They had no plan or accommodations for separating the children and that's why you see the picture of them in cages and kennels and shipped all across the country.

“We have about 100 in New York, by our count. The federal government says 300, and in all different facilities. And it's mayhem and it was chaos. And it was the worst type of policy. 

"It was not thought through. It had the theoretical premise that well, if we arrest people, we will deter them from coming. That didn't work. And then there was the premise that said this will put pressure on the Congress to actually do something.”

Many of the children are being housed at Children’s Village in Dobbs Ferry, which, according to its website, “works in partnership with families to help society’s most vulnerable children so that they become educationally proficient, economically productive, and socially responsible members of their communities.”

"They're putting children, as you've shown the pictures many times, in basically kennels at the border, where most people wouldn't allow their dog to stay, and they're using private facilities across the country," the governor added on MSNBC. "But they've lost connection with the children and they can't put the children back with the parent and the parents don't know where the children are. And think about the trauma that these children have gone through. 

"A child walks into a country doesn't speak the language, is pulled from their parents, put in a car, flown to a different state, I mean, you could potentially scar these children for life. And forget the politics and all the garbage they're doing in Washington, this is humanity, this is decency, this is basic values"

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