President Donald Trump

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Tuesday formally filed a multi-state lawsuit against U.S. President Donald Trump’s “family separation” immigration policy.

The legal action led by Ferguson and brought to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington was joined by a coalition comprising the District of Columbia and 17 states, including California, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont and Washington.

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The Washington State Attorney General Office said in a statement Tuesday that the Trump administration has “violated the constitutional due process rights of the parents and children by separating without any finding that the parents pose a threat to the children.”

“The Administration has been violating federal asylum laws by turning away families that show up at ports of entry seeking asylum,” it said.

Describing the case as “something important about who we are as a people,” Ferguson said, “We will stand up for the Constitution, basic decency and fundamental American values.”

Ferguson and Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced the lawsuit last week outside the federal prison in SeaTac, Washington, where the federal government was detaining dozens of women after forcibly separating their children from them.