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Federal Judge Orders Government to Provide Immediate Mental Health Treatment to Immigrant Families Torn Apart by Family Separation Policy

Ms. J.P. (right), lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, reunites with her 16-year-old daughter at the Burbank airport in July 2018, after a two-month separation.


In a groundbreaking 50-page order, U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt has ordered the federal government to provide immediate mental health screenings and treatment to thousands of immigrant families who were traumatized by the Trump Administration’s disastrous family separation policy. The order is the result of a class action lawsuit brought by three refugee mothers who were separated from their children after crossing the U.S. border seeking asylum.

In the preliminary injunction order, Judge Kronstadt found that the federal government’s family separation policy placed thousands of families in danger, and held that the government is responsible for remedying the harm it knowingly caused. Further, he found that the plaintiffs presented evidence that the government’s policy “…caused severe mental trauma to parents and their children” and that the government was “aware of the risks associated with family separation when they implemented it.”

The plaintiffs, represented by Sidley Austin LLP and Public Counsel, filed their complaint in July 2018 seeking family-centered mental health services to address the psychological trauma and severe harm inflicted by the family separation policy. This was the first class action filed by migrant parents supported by expert declarations from over a dozen of the nation’s leading child trauma experts.

Full press release available HERE.

Read the Preliminary Injunction HERE

Read the Complaint HERE

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