Government falls short of deadline to reunite kids, parents

Government falls short of deadline to reunite kids, parents

Government falls short of deadline to reunite kids, parents

The looming and perhaps more significant question is how the administration will handle the much larger group of children 5 and older who are required to be reunited by July 26.

Trump's hardline immigration policy refers all apprehended undocumented adults for criminal prosecution - a break with past administrations who limited criminal referral for most adults who illegally cross into the US with their juvenile family members.

Some parents who were already deported may choose not to have their child sent to them, in some cases because the child has other family in the USA or can pursue asylum or other relief.

In a court filing released on Tuesday, U.S. officials admit they may have taken a child away from a U.S. citizen at the southern border. "Of course, there remains a tremendous amount of hard work and similar obstacles facing our teams in reuniting the remaining families".

The allegations came in a joint status report filed by the ACLU, representing families separated by Trump administration policy, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Lawyers for the children also argued that a recent ruling in California that ordered the Trump administration to reunite all separated immigrant families by July 26 does not prohibit the court from reuniting J.S.R. and V.F.B. with their parents ahead of the deadline. Justice Department attorneys have been under a 6 p.m. ET Thursday deadline to explain to Dana Sabraw, the US district judge behind the court order, how they returned the eligible children - and why the rest are ineligible for return under the court's guidelines.

The government has until July 26 to reunite almost 2,800 other children, ages five through 17, now in its custody.

The other 46 children were ineligible for reunification for various reasons, including that their parents had criminal histories, were in custody or had been deported, as well as for health reasons, the government said.

"If in fact 57 children have been reunited because of the lawsuit, we could not be more happy for those families", he said. The families will be released after they are reunited. In the month leading up to the executive order alone, some 2,300 children were separated from their parents and placed in "cage-like juvenile detention facilities".

The separations - which also involve "under 3,000" older children - have sparked worldwide outrage and considerable confusion.

Thousands of babies, toddlers and older children were separated from their parents at the border this spring before Trump reversed course on June 20 amid an worldwide outcry over the images of youngsters in chain-link cages and audio recordings of children crying. Immigration attorneys say they already are seeing barriers to those reunifications from a backlog in the processing of fingerprinting of parents to families unable to afford the airfare to fly the child to them - which could run as high as $1,000. One adult's location was unknown, they said.

In total, an estimated 3,000 children were separated from their parents as a result of Trump's so-called "zero tolerance" policy.

In some cases, he said, "If we had just reunited kids with the adults, we would be putting them in the care of a rapist, a kidnapper, a child abuser, and someone who was charged with murder in their home nation".

This included not completing DNA tests and background checks on other adults living in the same households as parents in some cases, the administration said in the court filing. In a press call later Tuesday, HHS officials and officials with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) suggested that there was nothing stopping those parents from consulting with consulate authorities to find their children.

Devin O'Malley, a Justice Department spokesman, said the department disagreed with Gee's Monday ruling and continued to review it.

PHOENIX- The federal government fell well short of the first deadline to reunify young migrant children with their families.

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