Trump Administration Will Not Meet Deadline for Reuniting Young Children

Lester Mason
July 10, 2018

They are among more than 2,300 children split up from their families as a outcome of the "zero tolerance" practice that saw their parents prosecuted for illegally crossing the border, even if they did so to seek asylum. With key deadlines looming, the government says it's doing everything it can but in some cases will need more time than the court has given them.

Federal officials have said somewhere "under 3,000" migrant children have been separated overall, but their numbers have varied.

The ACLU and others have blasted the Trump administration for shoddy record-keeping after they separated the parents and children, saying the government apparently had no plan in place to eventually bring families back together. Fabian said, arguing their hands are tied by logistics.

More than 2,000 children were forcibly separated from their parents at the Mexican border this spring under the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" immigration policy on illegally entering the country.

Additionally, Gelernt took issue with the Trump administration's claim that it has lost track both of parents who have been released by ICE within the USA pending their immigration or asylum hearings and at least nine parents who it deported without their children. "They have to determine the fitness of the parents to be able to release the kids to them", John noted.

Fabian said that 54 children will be joined with their parents by the end of Tuesday at locations across the country and that an additional five were undergoing final background checks.

The lead-up to the Monday court appointment indicated the duress the Trump administration is now under in trying to swiftly reunite the families it has separated - and just how messy the situation has gotten.


The judge ordered the attorneys to file more thoughts by Monday evening on the timelines and procedures for reuniting those parents who will not rejoin their children Tuesday, and the court will hold another hearing Tuesday morning to discuss the issue further.

Late last month, Sabraw, an appointee of Republican President George W. Bush, set a 14-day deadline to reunite children under 5 with their parents and a 30-day deadline for older children.

On Friday, the administration asked the judge for more time but Sabraw said he was sticking to the deadline unless there was a good case for certain exceptions.

Lee Gelernt, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, speaks after a hearing in San Diego.

"We will investigate and provide the government with a list of children who we think belong on the list", he said. There is still one child that the government has no parental information on. But as government employees would soon realize, they had their work cut out for them. Around 80 percent of them are teenagers who tried to make the crossing without their parents, HHS Secretary Alex Azar has said. I think now that the court is requiring them to literally submit information nearly twice daily, I think we're a long way from the point where the government is going to have to be sanctioned by the court. Pacific Time on Tuesday to hear the Trump administration's final list of "groups of parents that will fall into category where it is impossible to reunite by tomorrow".

Gelernt, the ACLU lawyer, said in court that the government had taken "significant steps" to reunite families but should be moving more quickly.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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