ICYMI: CAIR Coalition and JAC Sue U.S. Govt for Keeping Three Salvadoran Children From Their Father

Lawsuit demands that children be allowed to seek asylum in the United States

Today, the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition and the Justice Action Center (JAC), with pro bono support from the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers LLC, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government, demanding that three children who are currently being held in a shelter, separated from their parents and facing deportation, be released into the custody of their father, who is currently living in Maryland, and allowed to seek asylum.

Please see below for statements from the parties involved. Interviews are available upon request:

“It is both legally and morally outrageous that CAIR Coalition, together with Justice Action Center and O’Melveny & Myers, have had to do everything in our power to stop the U.S. from deporting these three kids, in the midst of a pandemic, back to a country where their lives have been threatened and where there is no parent or adult to care for them,” said Claudia Cubas, Litigation Director at CAIR Coalition. “The government is violating their right to due process and refusing to reunify them with their father. Unaccompanied immigrant minors have the right to a hearing before the government seeks to deport them — the law requires it — and it’s unconscionable for the government to deny them their day in court. They have been through enough. They belong with their family.”

“It’s a shameful violation of basic human rights that the U.S. government is considering deporting these children who have already been through so much trauma, especially seeing as how their father is already in the United States and is fully prepared to take them in,” said Karen Tumlin, Founder and Director of Justice Action Center. “Children everywhere in the world deserve to be with their parents, and it’s even more essential right now as our communities face a pandemic and public health crisis. We need to bring these kids back home to their family right now.”

“Our first priority is to get these three children home to their father as fast as possible,” said David J. Leviss, partner at O’Melveny and Myers, LLP. “Nothing is more important to them than the health and safety that their family can provide, especially in trying times like these. I also want to express my appreciation to my colleagues and fellow team members who have worked so hard to bring us to this point.”

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Justice Action Center (JAC) is a new nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting for greater justice for immigrant communities by combining litigation and storytelling. There is tremendous unmet need in the litigation landscape for immigrant communities. JAC is committed to bringing additional litigation resources to bear to address unmet needs in currently underserved areas. There is also untapped potential in how litigation can be combined with digital strategies to empower clients and change the corrosive narrative around immigrants.

The Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition strives to ensure equal justice for all immigrant adults and children at risk of detention and deportation in the Capital region area and beyond through direct legal representation, know your rights presentations, impact litigation, advocacy, and the enlistment and training of attorneys to defend immigrants. CAIR Coalition’s Immigration Impact Lab seeks to reduce the disproportionate legal injustices detained immigrant adults and children face by expanding cutting-edge impact litigation to engender systematic change through legal precedent that benefits broad groups of immigrants. More information can be found at http://www.caircoalition.org.


Tasha Moro
Justice Action Center

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