July 16, 2018
Three women who were forcibly separated from their children by immigration officials when they entered the United States to seek asylum filed a lawsuit in Seattle, Washington, on behalf of themselves and dozens of other separated families. The lawsuit seeks an order requiring immigration officials to immediately reunite the separated children with their parents and also challenges the government's failure to move forward with their asylum claims. Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) filed the suit in federal district court on behalf of the separated families.
The three women are part of a group of over two hundred asylum-seekers who were transferred from immigration detention centers in Texas to a prison in Washington State while waiting for immigration officials to begin processing their claims. Around fifty of the group originally arrived with children who were taken away from them by immigration officials without any explanation. They have not seen their children in over a month and some have not even been able to talk to their children by phone.
The three women have also yet to have a "credible fear interview," the first stage of review for their asylum claims, despite the fact that each of them has already been detained by immigration officials for over a month. To see a copy of the complaint filed in federal court, click here. Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) is a nationally-recognized legal services organization founded in 1984. Each year, NWIRP provides direct legal assistance in immigration matters to over 10,000 low-income people from over 130 countries, speaking over 60 languages and dialects. NWIRP also strives to achieve systemic change to polices and practices affecting immigrants through impact litigation, public policy work, and community education. (www.nwirp.org and on Twitter at @nwirp)