Lawyers: Immigrant kids’ detention is prolonged, unexplained

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — Immigrant advocates say they are suing the U.S. government for allegedly detaining immigrant children too long and improperly refusing to release them to relatives.

Lawyers said Tuesday they expanded a lawsuit filed last year in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, to propose including the cases of more than 10,000 children.

Attorney Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg says the Department of Health and Human Services has been slow to release immigrant children to sponsors inside the United States. He says an agreement to share sponsors’ information with deportation officers has also deterred some from offering to take the minors.

The lawsuit comes amid a partial government shutdown over the Trump administration’s demand for a wall on the southwest border.

Health and Human Services says it can’t comment on pending litigation.

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