ACLU sues Trump admin. over separation of children from parents at border

Immigration attorney Carol Anne Donahoe discusses her efforts to reunite parents and their children separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.
6:41 | 02/22/19

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Transcript for ACLU sues Trump admin. over separation of children from parents at border
How we are talking about the border while the president also talking about those migrants coming across in the families that are coming across a big lawsuit is underway right now. In California over the separation of those families that are brought into United States the ACLU. Has sued to trump administration in San Diego federal court they at a hearing yesterday. Over the separation of those children any new report out. That thousands more children have been separated from their parents than we originally were led to believe Johnny guests and struck much 120 this is another explosive issue this court case puts the spotlight that absolutely needs honest. Come a major campaign issue and 22 and a major political liability. For the president I think that this report is only going news you don't raise more questions in this I'm sick of me a lot more concern album the more and more information comes out. Yeah Andy president eight months ago signed an executive order ending the practice a lot of speculation. It's still actually taking place or one bring in our guests to join us from Al troll Lotto. An advocacy group this is attorney Carol and Donahue. Who has been working on the private side of things to help reunite parents and their children who were. Separated in this practice Carol angry to see you thank you so much for joining us. I want it want to get your take on the state of play right now with this practice with this lawsuit. What's your sense of of what more needs to be done to get these kids back with their parents. Well obviously. Green would like to see all of the counties. Get justice who were separated. And we believe asked the judge said yesterday that the fundamental premise of them and it was an unlawful. Separation. And really not clear that Obama who separation we would call you we are right now. And now. And class to include all the people that apparently. We're not included before as we find out every day there are even more customers for it. The data cards. They would be too burdensome for the government to actually rectify and we need not reunified. These stab wounds. And if the government actually has made very little effort. To reunify it happens to find the people that he that they are deported. And it has been mostly. Nonprofit. And advocacy groups that found Hispanic he raised money to. Had to go into dangerous remote areas to find these families. And it's I think we can agree that it's ridiculous for the government now saying it's too much of her burden. To undo what they did in the first place. Yet the judge in this case art excoriated. The government over this practice. And to take a step back from which are seeing Carroll land just in to remind people this federal court case. It's actually been underway for some time the judge ordered the government to effectively reunite all children that were taken since the zero policy. I tolerance policy began in 2017 but what you've pointed out is that there's a new study out that this began well before 2017 and there are thousands more children. Who were never addressed. The judge is now considering whether to include them. In in her order what what are you doing what is your group doing to help reunite these families. Well honestly. We have done a lot of work on the grounds. As things stand going to. Remote areas and Guatemala Honduras. Salvador are working with justice in motion and in those countries to locate and pan. Identify these families can't declarations to find out. What exactly happened when they came here to the United States how they were treated how they were separated. It should be noted we've done FOIA requests. Freedom of Information Act requests for these families and we've gotten back. Very little information on what actually happened when they were separated there would be. Response for the parent but there's no indication that they came with the child so it's clear that the government did not in any way. Take measures to ensure these Stanley is an 8% for it wants sabres are rated but then again the united. Not what it what a huge mess and painful as the ACLU attorney said yesterday. We're talking about children who could be permanently orphaned. If they are reunited which is just sort of a stunning thought. Before we let you go Carol and it didn't give us a sense of what the biggest challenges. In this process as it. Is it is it tracking isn't isn't simply don't language barrier is attending giddy matching the names of the fact that there's no system in place how do you. How do you bridge that divide. Well and again the challenge should not be on it should be on the government because they're the ones who Constance. Problem in the first place. We. Raised. Over a million dollars through to get their rising crowd funding source. To be able to locate these families got money is nearly gone we don't know that we would how the money. Just fine to locate these other families and apparently. Were also a separate and so. The burden and and and also another thing obviously the government has not. Acted in good faith we putting petitions for family members to come back to be returned to the United States. On December 15 the government has thirty days to respond. And their response yesterday was basically. It was Burton's I'm happy spamming. Should have to then Aaron another birds witches. Apply for humanitarian parole. Find fiscal sponsors. Unit these are people who have been 900. Class members repetition should be returned and now they let this happen urgent on you know. Families who you know who again were coming from dangerous situations. Rural areas a lot of them aren't career language. Carolina Donohue with the L ultra Lotto organization which is helping reunite parents and children separated. As a result of the trop administration zero tolerance policy at the border. Carolyn thanks so much for joining and it's important to hear your perspective and keep a spotlight on this very important story.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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