ICE agrees to release 2 immigrant children held in CT & their parents

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NEW HAVEN -

Two immigrant children being held in Connecticut were released and reunited with their parents Monday, according to Gov. Dannel Malloy. 

A court filing also says that Immigration and Customs Enforcement would parole their parents, meaning they will not go back to a detention center.

"It's unfortunate that we have to go to court over and over and over again to try to just do the human and right thing for these children," said Sen. Chris Murphy.

The children are a 14-year-old girl from El Salvador and a 9-year-old boy from Honduras. They had been housed at a group home in Groton.

Court documents say the children were separated from their parents in May. They sued the federal government over the separations. Last week, dozens of activists rallied outside the courthouse during a hearing related to the case.

A child psychologist testified that both children have post-traumatic stress disorder. On Friday, a federal judge said the separation was unconstitutional.

It remains unclear where the families will live while the courts consider their asylum cases. And they'll have to return to court to face charges for allegedly illegally crossing the border.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal praised the court's decision.

"Separating kids from their parents without some kind of due process violates their rights," he said. "It is, in effect, kidnapping."

In a statement, Gov. Malloy also welcomed the decision -- but he had harsh words for the Trump administration.

"It should not take a lawsuit to convince President (Donald) Trump to reunite the families his administration heartlessly ripped apart -- nor should it take public intervention from governors, United States senators, and members of Congress," he said.

He went on to describe the president's zero-tolerance immigration policy as "nothing short of child abuse."

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