Judge rules in favor of Trump administration in family separation case

(Reuters) - A U.S. federal judge has ruled that the Trump administration's ongoing separations of families at the U.S.-Mexico border based on parents' criminal history or health exclusions are being carried out with proper discretion.

Reuters January 15, 2020 00:13:14 IST
Judge rules in favor of Trump administration in family separation case

Judge rules in favor of Trump administration in family separation case

(Reuters) - A U.S. federal judge has ruled that the Trump administration's ongoing separations of families at the U.S.-Mexico border based on parents' criminal history or health exclusions are being carried out with proper discretion.

The ruling, by U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego, California, on Monday, was a rare victory for the government in a case that has been ongoing since 2018.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) first brought the case over President Donald Trump's "zero tolerance" policy of criminally prosecuting all border crossers, which led to the separation of hundreds of families and sparked national outrage. Sabraw had ordered the administration to find and reunite separated families.

Trump officially halted the practice with an executive order on June 20, 2018. But the ACLU claimed in court that since then, the government has continued the practice and separated more than 1,000 families in violation of Sabraw's order.

The government has said it separates families when it suspects the parent has a criminal record, a communicable disease, or when there are questions about the relationship between the adult and the migrant child. It claimed its current practice is no different than prior administrations.

The rights group argued, however, that the administration was taking children from parents when they had only minor infractions like traffic violations or previous illegal border crossings.

Sabraw found government officials were "generally exercising their discretion to separate families at the border" in a manner consistent with migrants' "rights to family integrity and the Court's orders."

The judge added there was no evidence before the court that the government has “returned to systematically separating families at the border.”

Sabraw did say that the government should use its rapid DNA testing technology to confirm parentage and not separate families based on "subjective concerns" alone.

The ACLU highlighted that part of the ruling in a statement: "The court strongly reaffirmed that the Trump administration bears the burden if it attempts to separate families based on an accusation that the adult is not the child's parent," ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt said.

The group said it was considering its next move in the case.

The U.S. Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru and Mica Rosenberg in New York; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Matthew Lewis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.