Lee Gelernt: Protecting Immigrant Children


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“After a harrowing journey, our client and her six-year-old daughter presented themselves at the border and passed the initial asylum screening. But on the fourth day of detention, they said that the daughter needed to come into an adjacent room. The mother was handcuffed, and the mother described hearing her daughter screaming, ‘Mom, don’t let them take me away! They’re taking me away!’”

Sandy Santana, Executive Director of Children’s Rights, spoke with the ACLU’s Lee Gelernt, who has played a central role in fighting back against the Trump Administration’s policy of separating immigrant children from their families. Lee filed the national class action lawsuit that reversed this inhumane and illegal policy, and he credits Children’s Rights’ support of the lawsuit as having been vital to its success.

Children’s Rights is also proud to honor Lee Gelernt at our upcoming 2018 Benefit & Inspiration Awards on October 16, 2018 in NYC.

Listen to the podcast via iTunes or Soundcloud. For a full transcript, click here.

Lee Gelernt is deputy director of the ACLU’s national Immigrants’ Rights Project and director of the project’s Access to the Court’s Program. During the past 18 months, he has argued several groundbreaking challenges to Trump administration immigration policies. policies, and successfully argued the first case challenging the president’s travel ban on individuals from certain Muslim-majority nations, which resulted in a federal court in Brooklyn issuing a nationwide Saturday night injunction against the ban one day after the president enacted it and eight days after his inauguration. He is currently litigating a national class action involving the Trump administration’s unprecedented practice of separating immigrant families at the border.