BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh announced Monday he is joining a coalition of 20 attorneys general in filing a lawsuit opposing the Trump administration’s new rule to allow prolonged detention of immigrant children in U.S. custody.

In the complaint before the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the coalition argues the rule eliminates several critical protections guaranteed by the Flores Settlement Agreement- which has governed the treatment of children in immigration custody since 1997.

They say the prolonged detention risked by the rule would cause “irreparable harm to children, their families and the communities that accept them upon their release from federal custody,”

“The Trump administration’s abuse of children is illegal and intolerable,” said Attorney General Frosh.  “The United States should not be taking children from their families, and it should not be holding children in prison-like conditions.  Our law and our policy have, for decades, required humane treatment of children.  This new, terrible idea will not stand.”

The coalition argues the Trump administration’s final rule interferes with the states’ ability to help ensure the health, safety and welfare of children by undermining state licensing requirements for facilities where children are held.

The attorneys general argue the rule violates both the Administrative Procedure Act and the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

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