American Oversight Sues Administration for Records of Family-Separation Policy

On Tuesday, American Oversight filed multiple lawsuits regarding the development and implementation of the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant children from their parents.

While Trump officially ended the “zero tolerance” policy in June, ProPublica reported in late November that families were still being separated at the border. American Oversight has been investigating the development and implementation of the administration’s family-separation policy, and is suing for records that can shed light on conditions within the detention facilities — including complaints of physical or emotional abuse — as well as the total costs of carrying out the policy.

“The administration’s attempts to shift the blame and obscure the details of its barbaric family separation policy won’t stop the truth from coming out,” said Executive Director Austin Evers.

American Oversight’s complaint targets four agencies and their components, seeking agency officials’ communications with Congress as well as any communications with anti-immigrant groups like the Federation for American Immigration Reform and the Center for Immigration Studies, or with former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

The lawsuits are part of American Oversight’s ongoing efforts to ensure that the administration does not obstruct transparency — especially during the incoming Congress, which is also expected to investigate the family-separation policy.

“As thousands of immigrant families have been traumatized by the administration’s cruelty and incompetence, the public has been left with few answers about the policy that has been carried out in our name,” Evers continued. “The family-separation policy was implemented by a sprawling federal bureaucracy, which means there’s going to be a paper trail every step of the way — and we intend to expose the facts for the American people to see.”