New York intends to file a lawsuit against the Trump administration over family separations at the border, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.
Cuomo, a Democrat, said in a phone call with journalists that he would like the lawsuit to be filed within two weeks.
A statement from Cuomo’s office said the lawsuit would assert the administration “is violating the Constitutional rights of thousands of immigrant children and their parents who have been separated at the border.”
The governor’s office is aware of more than 70 immigrant children in federal shelters in New York, and the state would sue “to protect the health and well-being of children” held in New York and elsewhere, the statement said.
Cuomo’s announcement marked another step by Democrats to target the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, which is leading to the separation of migrant families. A group of Democratic lawmakers traveled to Texas over the weekend to tour facilities where the government was holding children, and the full Senate Democratic caucus has cosponsored a measure that addresses family separation.
Additionally, key Republican voices have criticized the separations and some have urged President Donald Trump to reverse the practice. Trump, in turn, has insisted Congress pass broader legislation, falsely claiming Democrats are responsible for the policy under his administration, and on Tuesday continued to defend the separations.
“When you prosecute the parents for coming in illegally, which should happen, you have to take the children away,” Trump said. “Now, we don’t have to prosecute them, but then we’re not prosecuting them for coming in illegally. That’s not good.”