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Immigration Law

Class Action Challenges Trump, Sessions Attack on Refugee Children

NYCLU, Feb. 20, 2018 - "The New York Civil Liberties Union today announced a class action lawsuit against the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) for trapping immigrant children in prolonged detention. Though the agency is obligated to promptly reunify children with their families, the release of children who have been held in restrictive detention has nearly ground to a halt under a new policy that requires sign-off by the ORR director, a Trump administration appointee. The lead plaintiff in the class action is a 17-year-old boy, LVM, who was taken from his home on Long Island in July 2017 as part of the Trump administration’s crackdown on purported MS-13 gang members. LVM, who has no criminal record and no gang involvement, has been detained and separated from his mother for over seven months, though an immigration judge, local ORR supervisor, and every caretaker in the facilities where he is housed have concluded that he poses no danger. The NYCLU believes that more than 40 children would qualify as part of the class of immigrant teens detained indefinitely.  “The Trump Administration is trapping children, many of whom came to New York to escape trauma and violence, in purgatory, separating them from their families and upending their lives,” said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. “It is bad enough to arrest kids based on flimsy evidence, but it’s hard to fathom the cruelty of keeping them locked up even after the government’s own judges and caseworkers have said they should go home.” "