President Donald Trump's administration is appealing a federal judge's order to reunite 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.