Michael Avenatti is now trying to take on Trump on his family-separation policy as outrage reaches a fever pitch
- Michael Avenatti, the attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels, is now trying to take on President Donald Trump through his policy of separating families and children at the southern border.
- The outrage over the policy has reached a fever pitch as images of children crying at detention facilities after being forcibly removed from their parents have spread through the media.
- On Monday, Avenatti said he was "already mobilizing resources on the ground for this fight."
- He said that by the end of the day he and his team expects "to have at least 20 detained mothers and children as clients."
The outrage over the policy, which began just weeks ago, has reached a fever pitch as images of children crying at detention facilities after being forcibly removed from their parents have spread through the media. Children are being held in makeshift detention centers as their parents are prosecuted for illegal entry into the US, a misdemeanor.
Michael Avenatti, the attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels, is now trying to take on President Donald Trump through another avenue - the administration's much-maligned policy of separating families and children at the border.
The Trump administration has begun a new "zero-tolerance" policy for illegal entry into the US. Because adults are now prosecuted upon entry, their children are immediately taken from them. The policy has been blamed for one migrant parent committing suicide, and reports of traumatized children have flooded the national media.
The administration views the policy as both a deterrent for people to enter the country illegally, and as a possibly negotiating chip for the president to secure the hardline immigration legislation for which he clamors. Roughly 2,000 children have been separated from their parents at the border since the policy was implemented, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
'This is not my America'
Avenatti first tweeted about the growing outrage on Saturday, highlighting a New York Daily News cover that showed a 2-year-old child in distress after being separated from their parents.
"This is not my America," he wrote. "This is not our America."
He followed up with a call for anyone who knows a parent whose child was taken from them at the border and subsequently not returned to contact him as he is "entering this fight.""This outrageous conduct must be brought to an immediate end," he said.
Avenatti continued on the subject on Sunday, calling out White House senior adviser Stephen Miller, who pushed for the "zero-tolerance" policy.
On Monday, Avenatti said he was "already mobilizing resources on the ground for this fight," adding that by the end of the day he and his team expects "to have at least 20 detained mothers and children as clients."
Avenatti's client, Stormy Daniels, meanwhile, is suing Trump and his longtime attorney Michael Cohen in California to void the nondisclosure agreement Cohen facilitated with her prior to the 2016 presidential election. Cohen set up a $130,000 hush-money payment to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, to keep her quiet about her allegation of a 2006 affair with Trump. Though Cohen initially said Trump did not reimburse him for the expenditure, Trump recently admitted to reimbursing the lawyer for the payment.
Cohen is now the focus of a criminal investigation in the Southern District of New York into whether he violated campaign-finance laws or committed bank fraud.