The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is standing up in defense of the unfortunate “immigrant teenagers” who have been rounded up and arrested by ICE recently, over their suspected links to the MS-13 gang.
The ACLU announced Friday they have filed a lawsuit on behalf of the “immigrant children and their families,” against Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).
In a July 28 speech President Trump gave on Long Island, he vowed to crack down on the violent MS-13 gang, vowing that “[w]e’re going to destroy” the violent MS-13 gang and send a clear message to criminal aliens that law enforcement officials are hunting them down and seeking to prosecute, jail, and deport them.”
Indeed, just the day before, the Department of Justice announced that literally hundreds of MS-13 gang members had been charged and arrested.
MS-13 gang activity has been a growing problem on Long Island, especially in Suffolk County, involving primarily illegal aliens from El Salvador.
The ACLU alleges the teens have been detained for “unsubstantiated claims of gang affiliation and flawed reports of criminal history,” and stated that ICE is detaining and deporting the teens “under the guise of a crackdown on transnational street gangs.”
In a press release Friday, an attorney for the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, Stephen Kang, said, “We’re talking about teens who were picked up for play-fighting with a friend, or for showing pride in their home country of El Salvador. The Office of Refugee Resettlement is accepting wholesale that young immigrants should be kept behind bars because of what they look like or where they came from.”
“The suit charges ORR with accepting ICE’s unsubstantiated gang allegations and placing children in severely restrictive conditions, even though the government had previously released the youth to the custody of their parents. The plaintiffs were transported to distant detention facilities without notice to their parents or lawyers and were not afforded a chance to challenge the charges against them.”
“The police and immigration agents are arresting kids because they think they look like gang members, but youth are the future of this country and they have a lot to offer,” said J.G.,* a seventeen-year-old plaintiff. “Don’t judge people by their appearance.”
The ACLU announcement quotes William S. Freeman, a senior staff ACLU attorney in California, as saying, “The government rightly reunited these kids with their families years ago. They have dreams and legal claims to remain in the United States, but they’ve been swept up by an administration that prioritizes deportations over truth and justice.”
The ACLU announcement further alleges that “ORR is legally required to ensure that a child who immigrated to the U.S. alone is placed under the care of a family member of sponsor in the U.S., or , alternately, in the least restrictive setting possible. The suit alleges that ICE and ORR are violating this requirement by re-arresting children who have already been processed and released to sponsors by ORR, and then placing then in prison-like facilities.”
The ACLU state that their lawsuit “seeks an injunction to block the government from arresting and detaining immigrant children without cause.”
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