Separated Family Members Seek Monetary Damages from United States

C.M. v. United States, Case 2:19-cv-05217-SRB (D. Ariz., filed Sept. 19, 2019)

Five asylum-seeking mothers and their children sued to seek monetary compensation for the trauma they suffered when torn apart under the Trump Administration’s family separation policy. Each family was fleeing persecution in their country of origin. Instead of finding safety in the United States, the government forcibly took the children from their mothers and then left them in the dark about where they were taken and when—if ever—they would see each other again. The mothers and their children suffered greatly during the separations, which in some cases lasted for months, and continue to suffer.  

The case is brought under the Federal Tort Claims Act, which allows individuals to sue the United States for injuries resulting from unlawful conduct of federal officers. Plaintiffs claim that the government committed the torts of intention infliction of emotional distress and negligence.  

The mothers and their children are represented by the Council, the National Immigrant Justice Center, National Immigration Litigation Alliance, Arnold & Porter, and KairysRudovsky, Messing, Feinberg & Lin.

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  • The requests ask for policies, guidelines, or procedures followed or used by the governmental agencies to address the processing and treatment of families at the U.S.-Mexico border and specifically, the separation of adult family members from minor children and the criminal prosecution of adult family members.

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