Washington State’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced yesterday that he will file his 27th lawsuit against the Trump Administration — this one challenging the policy that families can be separated at the United States-Mexico border. Ferguson described the practice as a “rogue, cruel, and unconstitutional policy.”
Washington is one of eight states suing the Trump administration for the policy despite Trump’s recent executive order to halt the separation of families. Ferguson believes the order to be flawed and essentially meaningless thanks to its many caveats; its failure to reunite families already separated; and an earlier statement made by Trump that an executive order could not reverse the separation of families.
“We have no way to predict from one day to the next what this president’s policies or intentions are,” Governor Jay Inslee said. “But one thing we know for sure is Washington state will always be among the first to stand up for the people and the values that make our state and our nation an enduring beacon of hope and opportunity. These cruel policies and this executive order are un-American and create chaos, fear and uncertainty. Washington continues to stand ready to ensure this president is held accountable.”
The lawsuit, which will be filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, was announced yesterday in front of the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac, Washington, where approximately 200 detainees — about a quarter of whom are mothers separated from their children — have been transferred.
Allegations to be covered in the proposed lawsuit include violation of constitutional due process rights of parents and children; violation of equal protection under law; and violation of U.S. asylum laws.
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan voiced their support for this step taken by Attorney General Ferguson. Jayapal emphasized the importance that the Trump administration be held accountable for their actions, and Durkan described her reactions of outrage and heartbreak as a mother and former federal law enforcement leader.
“This cruelty serves no purpose,” Durkan said. “The world is watching as the Trump administration continues to misrepresent the law, debase our values, and leave families and children devastated and traumatized. We must stand together against these actions.”
Washington will take the lead with the lawsuit, but Massachusetts, California, Maryland, Oregon, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Minnesota are also included. It is possible that more states may join.