Illegal Alien Moms Sue U.S. Government Over Treatment at Detention Centers

Five immigrant mothers are suing the United States government for millions of dollars in damages for the "psychological and physical harm" they claim they've suffered as a result of being held in detention facilities.

According to Fox News Latino, the tort claims filed Monday target the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The detained women allege that they and their children "received inadequate medical care, suffered psychological trauma and in some cases were wrongfully imprisoned."

The claimants in the 60-page filing hail from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, and include a woman who said "she received poor care for an injured ear because she could not speak to the medical staff in her indigenous language."

ICE oversees two family detention centers in South Texas and another in Pennsylvania that currently hold about 1,400 people.

The filing comes just days after the government fought a federal judge's ruling calling for the immediate release of children and their mothers from detention, saying it intends to turn the facilities into short-term processing centers and that limiting family detention could spark another surge in immigrants from Central America.

Tens of thousands of immigrant families, mostly from Central America, crossed the Rio Grande into the U.S. last summer. Many have petitioned for asylum after fleeing gang and domestic violence back home.

Andrew Free, a Nashville immigration lawyer representing the women, said ominously, "We expect this will be the first in a large set of filings on the mistreatment of these women and children on behalf of the government."

The United States should be protected from such lawsuits by "sovereign immunity,"  a legal doctrine by which the American federal, state, and tribal governments cannot be sued.