On Air
Open In Popup
MPR News

Minnesota, 16 other states sue feds over separating families

Share story

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson and 16 other Democratic state attorneys general are suing President Donald Trump's administration over policies that separated more than 2,000 migrant children from their parents at the U.S-Mexico border.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges violations of the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution and seeks a court order requiring the federal government to "expeditiously" reunite parents separated from their children and provide parents with information about their child's whereabouts, according to a release from Swanson's office.

"There has been so much confusion and chaos surrounding the child separation policy and the reunification of families. Intervention by a federal court can help bring order to the process, protect the interests of the children, and reunify families," Swanson said in a statement.

Swanson and attorneys general in states like New York and California joined the state of Washington in the suit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court in Seattle.

It's the first legal challenge over the administration's "zero tolerance" policy, implemented in April, which pushes for prosecution of all adults trying to illegally cross the border, whether or not they are with children. During a six-week period between April and May, nearly 2,000 children were separated from their parents as a result of the policy.

Trump last week issued an executive order stopping the practice, but it did not immediately reunite the separated families, according to Swanson, who's also a candidate for Minnesota governor.