The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to sue the Trump administration over its handling of asylum-seeking families.
The decision was reached in a closed-door session. The vote was 4-1, with Supervisor Kristin Gaspar opposing.
A Department of Homeland Security representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the board’s decision, which comes after a recent vote to open a shelter to temporarily house migrants going through the asylum process.
In a statement, board Chairwoman Dianne Jacob said the Trump administration “created this crisis by releasing asylum-seeking families into our community without providing critical resources or even places to shelter.”
Jacob said the lawsuit is an effort to hold the federal government accountable for failing to “consider the impact of its own actions on public health and safety,” which has included separating migrant children from their parents.
Since November, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers have been dropping mothers and children at bus stations and other public locations with GPS monitors but no food or travel arrangements. San Diego nonprofits organized as the Rapid Response Network have stepped in to temporarily house thousands of migrants and reunite them with family.
Supervisor Nathan Fletcher released a statement supporting the decision to sue.
“While we want the courts to weigh in, San Diego County will not abandon asylum seekers,” Fletcher said. “We are committed to continuing our work with San Diego Rapid Response Network and the state of California to ensure humane and compassionate treatment for all.”
But Gaspar, who has twice appeared with President Trump in Washington to support his immigration policies, called the lawsuit “impulsive.”
“The gains we have made with regard to assisting our asylum-seeking families are now mired in a clumsy lawsuit that we have no chance of winning,” she said in a statement. “I believe our federal immigration system needs major reforms, but I simply cannot put taxpayer dollars at risk for political posturing.”
Updated at 9:20 p.m. Feb. 12, 2019
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