The American Civil Liberties Union filed a class-action lawsuit Friday accusing the Trump administration of separating asylum-seeking immigrants from their children. The case highlights the stories of two mothers who were forcibly separated from their children and subsequently held thousands of miles away. A Congolese woman was separated from her "screaming and crying" daughter and placed in a San Diego facility, while her child was held in a Chicago facility, the lawsuit says. A Brazilian woman and her child were also separated when they sought asylum, the lawsuit says. The woman's 14-year-old son was placed in a Chicago facility, while she was sentenced to 25 days in jail for illegally entering the country and held in an immigrant detention center in West Texas. In an earlier statement, Department of Homeland Security Tyler Houlton said that the Congolese woman’s child was separated from her so that officials could verify that the child was “not [a victim] of traffickers and that the adult accompanying them is actually their parent." The agency said it was waiting for DNA test results to confirm their relationship. DHS has not officially announced a policy of separating immigrant parents and children if they enter the country illegally, but the Trump administration has expressed desire for such a policy.
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