Nessel joins coalition asking court to address ‘immediate threat’ to migrant kids’ safety

    Emergency Immigrant Protest near the White House | Flickr

    Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has signed an amicus brief advocating for migrant children detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

    Nessel announced Tuesday that she’s part of a coalition of 20 attorneys general taking action to force U.S. CBP to keep immigrant children in safe, sanitary settings.  In its brief, the coalition urged the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to grant immediate relief to remedy the imminent threat to the health and welfare of immigrant children detained by CBP.

    “Our federal government is forcing these children to be held in the most degrading, horrific conditions imaginable, while they fear for their safety and are separated from their loved ones,” said Nessel.  “I am ashamed and appalled at the unconscionable and callous treatment of innocent children and I refuse to stand down when we have the power of federal law on our side. I didn’t run for this office so I could twiddle my thumbs and watch idly on the sidelines while the [President] Trump Administration treats toddlers worse than war criminals.”

    Members of Congress, activists decry border camp conditions

    Numerous news reports have said that immigrant children in the facilities have not had access to soap, toothbrushes and beds. Several Democratic members of Congress, including U.S. Reps. Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit), have visited detention centers on the southern border and have called attention to deplorable conditions.

    For more than two decades, the federal government has been required to meet minimum standards for the facilities in which immigrant children may be confined, established in the Flores Settlement Agreement, Nessel’s office said.

    The coalition of AGs, led by California and Massachusetts, also includes those from Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia.

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    Susan J. Demas is an 18-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.

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