The ACLU sued the United States for money on behalf of illegal immigrants for being separated from their children when they were caught and detained at the border. The Wall Street Journal reported a few weeks ago that the Department of Justice was considering settling the case for about $450,000 per individual – a settlement amounting to over a million dollars in the case of a family of three and over two million for a family of five.
The basis for the ACLU’s lawsuit on behalf of the immigrants is not clear. Most legal experts agree that whatever the morality of putting children into shelters, it is lawful. That’s what happens when parents commit a crime and are incarcerated. The lawsuit appears designed to establish new judge-made law to the effect that when the crime is illegal immigration, the children must be incarcerated with the parents (who may or may not actually be their parents) in an adult prison.