[U: 07.06.19] Trump Is STILL Violating The Ms. L. Settlement Agreement: 21 Parents Just Trying To Get Their Kids…
June 6, 2019

UPDATED — 07.06.2019: Yesterday, yet another 13 page brief explaining why these 21 parents should be given a complimentary flight back to the US to reunite with, and retrieve their children. It is unfathomable that the Trump lawyers are fighting this tooth and nail — but Judge Sabraw will — correctly — rule against Trump. End update.

The Ms. L. case was settled — and a permanent injunction imposed — last October. The government agreed it would help parents reunify with their children, promptly.

Then, in the cases of at least 21 parents — but likely many more — ICE simply forcibly deported the kids’ parents, without even so much as a credible fear hearing — and without their children. [The ACLU will win here — the law is clear; the government formally agreed back in October 2018 that it was.] My recent backgrounder — one of many — here.

And so, the course of action Trump and ICE took against these vulnerable parents. . . directly violated the settled promises. It was willful. It was with malice, aforethought. Now the ACLU has, in San Diego federal court, made a motion to have those parents safely return to the US — at US expense, by commercial air carrier — to reunify with their children, and get a fair “credible fear” hearing. And remain in the US until the 240 process is completed. Here is the memo of law (a 15 page PDF), just filed and the executive summary:

. . . .Plaintiffs respectfully request that the Court order the government to allow 21 parents who were separated from their children and deported to travel to the United States to obtain an opportunity to reunify with their children, who remain in the United States. Each parent has submitted an application under the Settlement Agreement seeking to return to the United States, and the return of each of the 21 parents can be accomplished either by enforcing the Settlement Agreement or by an order of this Court requiring the government to provide travel documents to permit return to the United States.

The 21 parents were separated from their children and deported without receiving a meaningful opportunity to seek asylum. The relief they seek is limited: they need a pathway to legally travel to the United States, where Defendants can then either provide them with a de novo credible fear interview (“CFI”) or simply place them in regular section 240 removal proceedings.

These 21 deported parents are part of the larger group of more than 470 parents deported without their children. Plaintiffs, the ACLU Steering Committee, and other NGOs carefully screened deported parents to determine which parents (1) were deprived of a meaningful opportunity to seek asylum, (2) are currently in danger, and (3) have bona fide asylum claims. Plaintiffs concluded that 51 parents fit that description and gave the 51 cases, with affidavits, to the government as part of the procedures set forth in Settlement Agreement. The government rejected all 51 applications without any individualized explanation.

Subsequently, thirty of the 51 managed to make their way to the U.S. — Mexican border and sought asylum. Notably, all 30 either passed their CFIs or were placed directly into 240 proceedings. Yet all 30 were previously rejected by the government under the settlement agreement. The remaining 21 are no different from these 30 but are stranded in their home countries, either because of the danger or prohibitive cost of undertaking the journey without travel documents, or for other reasons. Had they been given a meaningful opportunity to seek asylum before being deported, they would almost certainly have passed their CFI and would have been reunified with their children in the United States under the Ms. L. injunction.

These parents are in serious danger in their home countries and cannot safely remain there. For the same reason, they cannot be reunited with their children in their home countries. Without further relief, these 21 parents have no meaningful redress for the injury Defendants’ inflicted. They were separated from their children and then coerced or misled into losing the meaningful opportunity to seek asylum to which they were entitled. The only path they have to reunify with their children is in the United States itself. Accordingly, to obtain the Ms. L. relief of reunification, these 21 parents should be permitted to return to exercise their right to apply for asylum. . . .

This is. . . maddening. Trump simply refuses to obey court decrees he does not like.
Separately, it is being reported in the media that he is vainly threatening to cut court-ordered [under Flores, ever since 1998] funding for kids in the detention centers — funding for recreation, education and English classes, in particular. That he cannot do.

It is time to impose sanctions on him, personally. Including contempt and arrest. He is plainly acting outside of the scope of his permitted authority.