North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein joined a coalition of 17 attorneys general to sue the Trump Administration over its family separation policy, alleging that it violated constitutional rights and arguing that the President’s executive order meant to reverse the policy doesn’t adequately fix the issue.
According to a statement released by Stein, the lawsuit alleges the President’s policy violated the constitutional due process rights of families apprehended at the border after entering the U.S. illegally because it separated families without deeming the parents as threats to their children. The lawsuit also alleges the policy violates constitutional equal protection guarantees by solely targeting individuals who cross the U.S.-Mexico border and not those who enter through the northern border or by other means.
The attorneys general also argue the policy violates asylum laws, which allow asylum-seekers to enter the country by any means in pursuit of that status, by turning people away at ports of entry.
The lawsuit also argues that President Trump’s executive order doesn’t undo the damage caused by the policy because it “fails to set forth a plan to reunify families already torn apart” by the separation policy.
Stein said the attorneys general are taking legal action because they hope for a permanent solution to the problem.
“Like millions of North Carolinians, I watched in horror as the Trump Administration stripped thousands of children away from their parents,” Stein said. “Today, along with 17 of my colleagues, I am going to court to make sure that the Administration permanently ends this offense and quickly reunites the affected families.”
In addition to the lawsuit, Stein also wrote letters to organizations involved in implementing the separation policy — and its reversal — to request a list of case numbers of families separated by the policy who will be moved to North Carolina and list of state facilities that may house or hold them.