Lawyers Seek To Reunify Immigrant Children Held In Connecticut With Parents In Texas

Jul 12, 2018

Attorneys for two children detained in Connecticut after being separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border have asked a judge to order that they be reunited with their families immediately. Dozens of people rallied outside a district courthouse in Bridgeport today in support of the children.

“The incarceration of migrant families, end it now...end it now. The mass trials, unjust trials, end it now...end it now.”

Protesters chanted and waved signs outside the courthouse calling for the release of the children – a 14-year-old girl from El Salvador and a 9-year-old boy from Honduras. Immigration officials took the children away from their parents, who watched the hearing from a detention center in Texas. The two children are staying at a group home in Groton.

Allan Brison, an activist with the Party for Socialism and Liberation, said, “I think this is just a terrible thing. Taking children away from their parents in the middle of the night and not even telling the kids where their parents are. What have we come to? What has this nation come to? I mean is there any principles whatsoever?”

Vanessa Suarez with Unidad Latina en Accion helped organize the rally. “We’re here because we’re going to fight for these children. We’re here because we’re going to watch how this government, how courthouses, how’re they going to be complicit in this administration. We have people denouncing the policies of Trump, but we’re going to keep an eye on what is happening because it is up to us to make sure that they do right by these kids. We’re not going to leave these kids alone.”

Yale child psychiatrist Dr. Andrew Martin who examined the children testified they suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and recommended they be reunited with their parents.

Hannah Schoen, who is on the legal team for the children, said they’re asking the judge for both parents and children to be released, rather than have all four transferred to a family detention center.

“That is not going to be viable in terms of their health condition, that will further traumatize them. They need to be released so that they can further recover from what’s happened to them.”

Federal prosecutors argued the judge didn’t need to make a ruling because another federal judge already ordered children separated from families under the Trump administration's immigration policy to be reunited with their relatives.