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Cuomo threatens litigation over family separation immigration policy

ALBANY – New York State will bring a lawsuit against the federal government to overturn the Trump administration’s immigration policy that has led to more than 2,000 children being separated from their parents trying to cross illegally into the United States’ southern border.

Cuomo told reporters Tuesday that more than 70 of the affected children are being temporarily housed at 10 private facilities in New York that have contracts with the federal government. He identified several of the locations, which were heavily located downstate.

“It has been a clear violation of due process," Cuomo said of the Trump administration’s decision to separate some children from their parents or guardians.

The governor said a lawsuit will be filed within two weeks and be brought by three different state agencies and focus on three areas of law, including what he says are violations of federal constitutional rights.

Cuomo, a Democrat, called the policy by President Trump, a Republican, “ugly."

The governor said New York agencies reached out to some of the nine facilities holding the children to offer social and health services. He said the private facilities were “gagged” from speaking with the state about the children. A federal agency, he said, has told state officials that Washington would need two weeks to process the state’s offer for assistance.

“Why the federal government would want to be in a position to stop a state from offering mental health services, support services for young children suffering from trauma, just adds further insult to further injury," Cuomo told reporters in a conference call.

Four of the nine facilities are located in Westchester County, two in the Bronx, two on Long Island and one in Ulster County, the Cuomo administration said.

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