- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2020

BOSTON (AP) - President Donald Trump’s administration is appealing a federal judge’s order to r eunite three Massachusetts families separated because of its controversial “Remain in Mexico” asylum policy.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, which represents the families, countered in a legal brief Tuesday that the administration’s appeal would force their clients - three women and two young children - to return to dangerous living conditions in Mexico’s border communities.

“The administration’s pursuit of its anti-immigrant agenda knows no bounds,” Carol Rose, executive director of ACLU Massachusetts, said in a written statement. “The irreparable harm it causes is clear.”

Spokespersons for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which appealed the decision, didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.

In May, a Boston federal judge ruled the asylum seekers - four from Guatemala and one from El Salvador - should be reunited with their families in Massachusetts until their immigration cases were decided.

Thousands of asylum-seekers from Guatemala, El Salvador, and other Spanish-speaking nations are waiting out their asylum cases in Mexico as part of the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols, which took effect January 2019.

The administration maintains the so-called “Remain in Mexico” policy has significantly reduced illegal border crossings, but civil rights groups complain it’s unconstitutional.

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