I.T. et al. v. United States (Family Separation)
Three indigenous Guatemalan families ripped apart under the family separation policy filed a lawsuit against the United States government. The plaintiffs join a group of, now, ninety-nine plaintiffs who were victims of the family separation policy, which was designed to traumatize migrants. They seek financial reparations for the cruelty purposefully inflicted upon them and for the ongoing trauma from their separation and detention. The three families are bracing themselves for the Biden Administration to oppose their claims in court.
The plaintiff parents Eduardo I.T., Ignacio P.G., and Benjamin J.R.*, and their children, fled persecution and abuse in Guatemala to seek safety within the U.S. Instead, U.S. immigration officials intentionally traumatized them and their children. The government carried out a practice of child disappearance, refusing to provide information about their children’s welfare or whereabouts. While their children wept daily in government-contracted children’s shelters, the parents were left in detention facilities for months without adequate food or water.
The three plaintiff families were eventually reunited and are now in asylum proceedings in California as they navigate the ongoing harm that impacts their daily lives. While the harm inflicted on them cannot be undone, the plaintiffs seek damages from the U.S. government for the abuse they endured.
On February 24, 2023, a federal judge denied a request by the government to dismiss the lawsuit and ordered that the case proceed.
The families in this lawsuit are represented by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.
*Names are changed to protect privacy