Click play for audio version of this story
New Jersey has joined a multi-state lawsuit challenging a federal government rule that permits the detention of immigrant families indefinitely despite any social or physical harm that might cause immigrant children.
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal claims the rule violates a 1997 settlement agreement to establish standards foe the detention and release of children.
“Indefinite detention of immigrant children and families is a profoundly cruel and harmful practice,” said Gov. Phil Murphy. “The Trump Administration’s repeated punishment of immigrant children must end now. New Jersey is committed to preventing this rule from going into practice and fighting to end this shameful chapter of American history.”
New Jersey joins eighteen other states and the District of Columbia in challenging the U.S. Department of Homeland Security rule. Among other things, the lawsuit claims that the new rule violates critical protections provided in the settlement.
“The Administration is once again treating immigrant families – and immigrant children in particular – in ways that are illegal and immoral,” Grewal said. “For over two decades, across Administrations, the federal government followed legal protections to ensure detained immigrant children are released as quickly possible. The Department of Homeland Security’s new rule strips away those protections, allowing for the prolonged detention of children in conditions that are harmful to their mental and physical health. This new rule violates the law, and we’re going to court to stop it.”