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Attorneys Hope Connecticut's Child Immigration Cases Become National Model

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Attorneys representing two immigrant children who were reunited with their parents in Connecticut said Tuesday they hope the cases serve as a model for potential lawsuits by other families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border under the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy joined the team of lawyers from Connecticut Legal Services and the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy clinic at Yale Law School to laud the Monday reunification of the two families after a fleeting, two-week court battle.
Malloy said state officials quickly became convinced Connecticut was the right state to take legal action after learning of the immigrant children’s detainment.
The governor said the office in charge of processing refugee status cases at the border has been purposefully understaffed and frequently closed to undermine efforts by immigrant families to successfully navigate the process.
“This is a government that has made it impossible, or nearly impossible, for thousands of individuals to seek that status and then blames them for not having that status,” Malloy said.
Yale Law School Professor Muneer Ahmad said the attorneys believe they were successful because of the collaboration on the pair of federal lawsuits, noting that process can be replicated across the country.
“A coalition of lawyers, law schools, community legal services, community advocates and elected officials who stand and act in unison,” Ahmad said.
“They demand for justice inside the courtroom and outside the courtroom and do that on behalf of children.”
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