Guatemalan woman sues Trump admin over alleged separation from son while seeking asylum
A Guatemalan woman is suing the Trump administration, claiming that her son was taken from her at the border while she was seeking asylum.
MSNBC reported on Tuesday that the woman’s lawsuit, filed Tuesday, alleges that federal officials took her 7-year-old son from her at the border last month.
The woman, Beata Mariana de Jesus Mejia-Mejia, claims in the lawsuit that she was allowed to speak to her son once on the phone and that officials would not tell her where he was being held, beyond that he was in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement in Phoenix, MSNBC reported.
She was released from custody last week after posting bond while awaiting her immigration hearing, but claims in the lawsuit that she has not been able to receive any further information about her child or how to reunite with him.
Mejia-Mejia is asking for the government to reunite her with her son and for a court to rule that the government’s actions were wrong, but the lawsuit does not challenge the government policy overall, according to MSNBC.
The lawsuit comes amid a major outcry over the administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which has resulted in thousands of children being separated from their parents after being detained at the border.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions also announced this month that the administration would stop granting asylum to victims of gang violence and domestic abuse.
Officials have defended the zero tolerance policy as a necessary border security measure while calling on Congress to change the nation’s immigration laws.
Officials have said that families are only separated when the parents are charged with a crime, such as illegal border crossing.