(AP/WBNG) — Seventeen states, including Washington, New York and California, are suing to force the Trump administration to reunite migrant families who have been separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The states, all led by Democratic attorneys general, joined Washington, D.C., in filing the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Tuesday. It’s the first legal challenge by states over the practice.
New York State is joining the lawsuit, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Acting Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced on Tuesday. The governor’s office notes at least 321 children are confirmed to have been separated from their parents and are residing in New York State.
Immigration authorities have separated about 2,300 children from their parents in recent weeks, sparking global outrage as images of weeping children emerged.
The president last week issued an executive order designed to end the practice, but the states say his order is riddled with caveats and fails to reunite parents and children who have already been torn apart.
The lawsuit says the migrants have been denied due process and their right to seek asylum.
*The Associated Press contributed to this report.