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Judge Sabraw Signs Historic Order in Ms. L. v. ICE (Family Separation Lawsuit)

December 09, 2023 (1 min read)

Maria Sacchetti, Washington Post, Dec. 8, 2023

"A federal judge in San Diego on Friday approved a settlement that prohibits U.S. officials from separating migrant families for crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally and offers aid to thousands of parents and children forced apart under the Trump administration. ... “It does represent, in my view, one of the most shameful chapters in the history of our country,” U.S. District Judge Dana M. Sabraw said before he approved the settlement in a hearing that recalled the shock and disbelief surrounding the policy in 2018. ... The judge praised the settlement for ensuring that the separations will not happen at least for the next eight years and for making efforts to “rectify a wrong.” He said he expected lawyers to continue searching for all children who remain apart from their parents. “This settlement does everything it can to keep that focus,” he said. “It shouldn’t stop until every child is found.” "

ACLU, Dec. 8, 2023

"U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw verbally granted that approval from the bench, with the settlement to take effect Monday, Dec. 11. The judge also cited a recent statement from the ACLU that noted that while it has settled hundreds of lawsuits in its 103-year history, none has been more important than this one. ... Details of the settlement include:

  • An estimated 4,500-5,000 children and their parents are covered under this settlement.
  • The government will continue to identify families that were separated, fund their reunification in the U.S., and provide a pathway for them to seek asylum here.
  • Families will have access to benefits to get them on their feet, such as work authorization, housing and legal assistance, and medical services.
  • The government is barred from reenacting the zero-tolerance policy over the next eight years."