In San Diego, California, a federal judge has ruled that an ACLU lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their undocumented immigrant parents may proceed. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw on Wednesday dismissed a Trump administration challenge to the suit, saying that, if true, the conduct alleged in the suit is “brutal” and “offensive.” The ruling came as Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended the Trump administration’s policy amid growing outrage over reports of Border Patrol and ICE agents ripping toddlers and even babies from the arms of their mothers. This is Sessions being questioned by the conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday.
Hugh Hewitt: “I understand the prosecution part. But is it necessary to separate the children? Could they not be detained in facilities where at least mothers and infants could remain together?”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions: “Well, most are not infants. Most are teenagers, although we do have a—a number of younger ones now, more than we’ve seen recently. And they are maintained in a very safe environment, not by the law enforcement team, the Department of, uh, Health—um, Homeland Security, but put with Health and Human Services.”
According to the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, infants as young as 53 weeks old have been brought to court hearings alone after they were forcibly separated from their parents by U.S. authorities.