Coalition of State AGs Demands DOJ to End “Inhumane” Zero-Tolerance Policy

Credits: U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector via AP

A coalition of 21 state Attorneys General demanded the Department of Justice (DOJ) to end its zero-tolerance policy that separates undocumented families caught crossing at the border illegally.

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Since the U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions implemented the policy, around 2,000 undocumented children were separated from their parents/legal guardian. The practice triggered an outcry not only among Democrats but also Republicans, who believe that it is wrong and inconsistent with the American values.

On Tuesday, the coalition led by New Mexico AG Hector H. Balderas sent a letter to AG Sessions and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirsten Nielsen. They emphasized that the zero tolerance policy is inhumane and raises serious concerns regarding the violation of children’s rights. It also raises concerns regarding the constitutional principles of due process and equal protection.

The coalition of state AGs demanded Sessions and Nielsen to immediately stop the zero-tolerance policy.  They reminded them that international, federal, and state laws protect the fundamental rights and he best interests of children.

Deliberate separation of children and their parents is “illegal”

According to them, these laws represent the views of millions of Americans that “the government, in any process, should first and foremost seek to protect” a child’s best interest—that is to remain with his or her family.