Legal groups sued the U.S. government Friday to try to stop the expulsion of children detained in hotel rooms by the Trump administration under an emergency declaration citing the coronavirus.
The owners of the Hampton Inn & Suites in McAllen, Texas, said Friday night that they ended any reservations on rooms used to detain minors. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement also confirmed that all children had been taken away from the hotel, two days after The Associated Press reported that it was one of three hotels used nearly 200 times for detention of children as young as 1. But ICE repeatedly refused to answer questions about where contractors have taken the children, citing a potential security risk.
“The Trump administration is holding children in secret in hotels, refusing to give lawyers access to them so it can expel them back to danger without even a chance for the children to show they warrant asylum,” said Lee Gelernt, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed suit on behalf of the Texas Civil Rights Project. Gelernt said suing on behalf of unnamed children was necessary “because the government is refusing to provide any information about the children.” The lawsuit was filed in Washington federal court, and Gelernt said he would seek to include any minors detained at the hotel as of Thursday.
Read the source article at Texarkana Gazette