Immigrant kids sue Trump Administration for ‘cruel policies and practices’.
The lawsuit, filed Friday in a federal court in California, names Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and E. Scott Lloyd, the director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, as defendants.
The five children in the complaint, Lucas, Daniela, Miguel, Gabriela and Jaime, are between the ages of 12 and 17, and all arrived unaccompanied. They are not a part of the wave of children who have been separated from their parents after crossing the border under President Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy.
The complaint alleges that the minors have been held in “jail-like” conditions and experienced “cruel” practices, including being prescribed antidepressants, that may result in lifelong trauma and “emotional harm,” according to BuzzFeed News.
The lawsuit also accuses the administration of violating the Flores settlement, which requires that detention of immigrant children be minimized by releasing them to family or to guardians in the U.S. The children are not being released to guardians that the governments believes are “or may be unfit.”
Lawyers for the children are seeking a class action lawsuit on behalf of all detained children in similar situations, noting that “the size of the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable.”
The attorneys are asking the court to issue an injunction to block the government from continuing the practices named in the lawsuit, as well as unspecified damages to the children.
The lawsuit comes amid public outcry over Trump’s zero tolerance policy, which is also facing several legal challenges.