Judge rules immigrant family separation unconstitutional
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A federal judge in Connecticut declared the forced separation of two immigrant children from their parents to be unconstitutional.
In a ruling issued Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Victor A. Bolden ordered the government to produce the parents of a 9-year-old identified as J.S.R and a 14-year-old, V.F.B., in court on July 18.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal told The Associated Press on Saturday it’s unique that the parents, who are currently held in a detention facility in Texas, are being required to appear in Connecticut for the hearing. He said the judge’s decision could have “broad ramifications” in other cases involving immigrant children.
“This ruling could have profound national significance if it paves the way for more humane and constitutionally acceptable treatment of these children, to reunify them with their parents,” Blumenthal said. “I’m excited beyond words that the federal judiciary and our Constitution State are stopping this horrendous and inhumane injustice of separating children from their families,” he said, referring to Connecticut’s nickname.
According to court documents, the children were forcibly taken from their parents at the southern U.S. border and are being cared for at Noank Community Support Services in Connecticut.
Medical officials testified both children are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from the separation.
They also mentioned the children had fled gang violence in Central America. The court ordered daily video conferences between the children and their parents.
Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said the ruling is “a step in the right direction” to ensuring the children receive the services they need and are reunited with their families.
“But this court decision is hardly any consolation for the child abuse inflicted by this president,” he said referring to Republican President Donald Trump.
Bolden left the request that the children be immediately reunited with their parents to another court.