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Court Rules Migrant Children Held In Connecticut Had Rights Violated

Paolo Zialcita
Connecticut Public Radio
Protesters at a rally in West Hartford aimed at ending family separation.

A federal judge in Bridgeport has ruled that the Trump administration violated the constitutional rights of two Central American migrant children when federal authorities took them at the Texas border and sent them to Connecticut without their parents. 

One is a 14-year-old girl from El Salvador and the other a nine-year-old boy from Honduras.

Joshua Perry has represented the two in court. “The judge also ordered the government to take some short-term steps to ameliorate the harm that it did," he told Connecticut Public Radio. "It ordered the government to transport their parents to the upcoming court hearing next week so that the children can be with their parents in court. The judge ordered the government to establish daily video conferencing for the children and their parents.”

Perry said the ruling isn’t enough to repair what’s been done to the children and he’s arguing for an immediate family reunification.

“We’ve been representing them in court since they came here to Connecticut and we will keep fighting for them,” he said. “But we are no substitute for what they really need, and that’s reconnection to their parents.”

The two kids are currently being held at Noank Community Support Services in Groton.

Governor Dannel Malloy issued a statement that welcomed the ruling, and sharply criticized the Trump administration's family separation policy.

"This ruling is a step in the right direction to ensuring that the two children who are currently located in Connecticut receive the services they need and are reunited with their families post-haste," he said. "But this court decision is hardly consolation for the child abuse inflicted by this president."

One of the medical experts who examined the children and gave testimony at the court hearing, Dr. Andres Martin of Yale New Haven Children's Hospital, said both children show symptoms of acute post traumatic stress disorder.

Frankie Graziano’s career in broadcast journalism continues to evolve.

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