A federal judge in California issued a ruling recently that will increase the number of migrant families that will be united after being separated by immigration officials at the southern border of the United States. The ruling is seen as a blow to the strategy of the Trump Administration for dealing with illegal crossings of migrants at the U.S. border with Mexico.
Judge Dana Sabraw, a United States District Judge working in San Diego, issued the ruling on Friday that would add thousands to a list of migrants named as injured parties in a suit filed by the ACLU.
A ruling made by Sabraw a year ago ordered 2,800 children who were separated from parents at the southern border returned to their parents. The additional families being added to the lawsuit by Sabraw are in response to a report released by the Health and Human Services Department in January. The report identified thousands of families that were separated at the border beginning in July of 2017.
Sabraw opined through his ruling that a society displays its values by the way it treats all individuals that are present within its borders. The judge also said the recent report represented a significant change in the case overall. Sabraw also stated the facts of the report were without dispute.
The Department of Justice did not respond to requests for comments on Sabraw’s ruling.
The Trump administration issued a zero-tolerance policy in May of 2018. The policy called for all individuals crossing the border illegally to be arrested and detained. This included families traveling with small children. These arrests are the basis of the many children separated at the border.
A spokesman for the Department of Homeland security says the practice of separating children at the border for their protection has been in place for over a decade.
Lee Gelernt, the lead attorney for the ACLU in the class action lawsuit, says Sabraw and the court have made it clear that the president’s policy has placed the lives of migrant children at risk. Gelernt also says the president and his administration should not be allowed to simply walk away from the devastation they have caused to these migrant families.