A federal judge in California issued a nationwide injunction Tuesday that forbids the Department of Homeland Security from separating any more children from their parents, and orders department officials to reunite more than 2,000 children with their parents within 30 days.
In his order, Sabraw, who was appointed to the court by President George W. Bush, called the family separation practice "brutal" and "offensive" and slammed the government for having no plan for tracking or reuniting families.
The development came amid news that the number of migrant children in custody after being separated from their parents barely dropped since last week, even as the Trump administration said it's doing everything possible to expedite family reunification.
The policy, initially defended aggressively by Trump and his allies before wide criticism made him reverse course, has split more than 2,000 children from their immigrant parents in a span of less than two months.
Amid an global outcry, Trump last week issued an executive order to stop the separation of families and said parents and children will instead be detained together.
The lawsuit pointed out that even NY children who live in foster care were afforded more rights than their immigrant counterparts, and provided regular visitation rights even when one or both parents are incarcerated.
Mr Trump earlier said that the United States needed "a nice simple system that works".
"Wait, wait, no", Desjardins said after officials attempted to move on.
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The comments by Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan came shortly after Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended the administration's tactics in a speech in Nevada and asserted that many children were brought to the border by violent gang members.
Parents who are plaintiffs in the suit from which Sabraw's order stems demonstrated "irreparable harm", the judge said, and "the balance of equities and public interest weigh in their favor".
"Nobody likes seeing babies ripped from their mothers' arms, from their mothers' wombs, frankly, but we have to make sure that DHS's laws are understood through the soundbite culture that we live in", Conway said, according to the complaint.
McAleenan's remarks follow an announcement last week by the federal public defender's office in El Paso that federal prosecutors would no longer bring criminal charges against parents entering the USA if they have their child with them.
The Trump administration has faced increasing criticism over what advisers have claimed is a conscious decision to take minors away from undocumented immigrant parents and guardians.
A former director of the agency sheltering immigrant children taken from their parents says the USA government could face many challenges trying to comply with a federal judge's order to quickly reunify families.
Dozens of people in several states, including Florida and Texas, have been protesting.
In the meantime families will be released and ordered to return later for a court date because Immigration and Customs Enforcement lacks necessary detention space for families.
Lee Gelernt: We have said that it is unconstitutional for the president to separate parents and children.
"Their separation lasted more than eight months despite the lack of any allegations or evidence that Ms. C was unfit or otherwise presented a danger to her son", Sabraw wrote.