A San Diego based United States District Judge seemed conflicted early May on whether to curb the separation of families at the border. Judge Dana Sabraw challenged President Trump’s administration to give comprehensive details of how families were receiving a fair hearing that was guaranteed by the constitution. However, he also articulated reluctance to get too profoundly entangled with the immigration enforcement.
The soft-spoken Judge stated that multiple enforcement decisions needed to be made, and every decision was individual. Judge Dana was questioning how the court had issued such an outwitting order that directed the state’s attorney generals to either release or detain the families all together. Weeks later, Judge Dana showed how the federal agencies were violating the constitution in a sweltering opinion that criticized the Trump administration and its zero tolerance guideline for a disaster of its own making. Dana went beyond the American Civil Liberties Union’s request to offer a preliminary request to put an end to the family separation. He wanted to halt the separation that President Trump had effectively implemented amid a backlash. He later revoked the decision and imposed a deadline for the reunion of the families. Over 2,500 children were expected to be reunited with their parents and relatives.
Justice Dana has had a rigid persistence on meeting the deadline that was displayed in multiple hearings where he was ordering for updates. This has remarkably made the Judge a central figure in a drama that has captured the interest of International audiences. Many people across the globe denounced the zero-tolerance policy because of the emotional accounts of minors and teenagers being separated from their parents.
Circumstances changed drastically after the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the government in March on behalf of the Brazilian and Congolese women who were separated from their children. Three days after the case was heard, the United States Attorney General Jeff sessions announced that the zero tolerance guideline on all illegal entry to the US was in full effect. This followed the separation of over 2,300 children in a period of five weeks. Judge Dana Sabraw wrote in early June saying that the case could move forward. He said that the practice was inhumane as the arbitrary tears that were being shed in the sacred bond between parents and children were too much to bear. He said that the action was offensive, brutal and failed to comply with the traditional notions of fair decency.