Attorney General Lori Swanson said Thursday that Minnesota will join with other states preparing to sue the Trump administration over the "inhumane treatment of children" who have been separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Swanson, a DFL candidate for governor, said she and other officials around the country are concerned about the welfare of the more than 2,000 children who have been separated from their parents. Those separations followed a federal zero-tolerance policy for people attempting to cross the border outside of official checkpoints.
Swanson said President Donald Trump's announcement this week that he would stop the practice of family separation left a number of unanswered questions, and she said a federal court should step in to ensure that the children are reunited with their families.
"Simply put, there is too much chaos and too many unanswered questions surrounding the treatment of these children, necessitating the involvement of a federal court to ensure that constitutional safeguards are being met," she said in a statement released by her office.
Swanson said it's unclear whether the government has the right information to match parents and children who have been separated, and some young children might not be able to communicate with the people holding them because of their age or language barriers. She said she's also concerned about reports of children with special needs who "have incurred not only mental distress but also physical distress."
The lawsuit is being organized by Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson and will be filed in district court in Seattle.
A news release from Ferguson's office said the states will "ask the President to comply with the law and the Constitution. For starters, by correcting the egregious flaws in the executive order, starting by creating a process to reunify the thousands of families torn apart by a cruel and unconstitutional policy, and immediately halting the practice of refusing to accept asylum petitions at the border."