What to Know
- Scores of children separated from their families were sent to government-contracted shelters or foster care hundreds of miles away.
- A judge has ruled the federal government's separation of two children currently housed in Connecticut from their parents is unconstitutional
- Under court order, the Trump administration is scrambling to reunite migrant families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Two migrant children who were brought to Connecticut after being separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border were reunited with their parents Monday.
The move comes just days after a federal judge in Connecticut ruled that the federal government’s separation of the children from their families is unconstitutional.
In a ruling issued Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Victor Bolden declared the actions of the Trump Administration unconstitutional and ordered the government to take steps to correct the harm it has caused.
In a notice of compliance motion filed on Monday, the U.S. Attorney's office announced that the government had agreed to a request to expedite the reunifications of the families.
On Monday afternoon the executive director at Noank Community Support Services, the Groton non-profit where the children were being cared for, confirmed the reunion had taken place.
The two children in question, a 9-year-old boy from Honduras, known as J.S.R. in court documents, and a 14-year-old girl from El Salvador, known as V.F.B., were each separated from their parents and placed in a group home run by a Groton non-profit. A legal team sued the federal government in hopes of having the families reunited.
At an emergency hearing Wednesday, a psychiatrist who has met with both children testified the kids suffer from PTSD, depression, anxiety, and loss of hope and recommended reunifying the children with their parents immediately.
In court documents, the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement insists the children are being well cared for.
The court felt that the plaintiffs offered enough evidence to prove that the government’s actions traumatized the children.
“The Court agrees that the Government violated J.S.R.’s and V.F.B.’s constitutional rights by forcibly removing them from their parents without due process of law. The Government failed to provide the children with notice or a hearing, instead taking their parents, while distracting the children,” Bolden wrote in the decision.
Judge Bolden’s decision is the first ruling in the country to find the practice violates the constitutional rights of the children and not just the parents.
The parents are being paroled from custody on Monday, according to the documents.
"Releasing these kids and their parents is the first step in addressing the trauma that the government's cruel 'zero tolerance policy' has caused on J.S.R. and V.F.B.," said Hannah Schoen, a law student intern at the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at Yale Law School.