Two immigrant children are suing the federal government after being separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border and transported 2,000 miles to Connecticut.
The lawsuits, filed on behalf of a 9-year-old boy from Honduras and a 14-year-old girl from El Salvador, seek immediate release and reunification with their families.
Officials said the 9-year-old, identified as J.S.R., and his father were detained at a Texas facility and were separated while the child was asleep. Joanne Lewis, managing attorney at Connecticut Legal Services, said the child had already been traumatized.
“He has had his grandparents murdered,” Lewis said. “And more recently, his father’s friend was murdered with a machete and the body dumped in his father’s backyard so he could see it.”
Lewis said the 14-year-old girl, identified as V.F.B, has been separated from her mother since mid-May and only recently spoke to her by phone.
"One day, V was taken to go for a shower and when she came back her mother was gone,” Lewis said. “She was then brought up to Connecticut and for more than a month she had absolutely no contact with her mother.”
The lawsuits, which name Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other federal agencies involved with immigration, also cite psychological and emotional trauma caused by the separations.
The children are being held at a facility in Groton. They’re represented by attorneys at Connecticut Legal Services and the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at Yale Law School. Governor Dannel Malloy and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, along with other state officials, joined community advocates and lawyers to announce the lawsuit at the Yale law school.