Trump Administration Will Not Meet Deadline for Reuniting Young Children

Tuesday, 10 Jul, 2018

"But I would need more information".

That bitterly ironic details isn't the worst of what's going on with the adjudication of the child-separation situation on the border. The court documents say that the government has identified "approximately 101 minors under age 5" under the care of HHS's Office of Refugee Resettlement. The deadline is July 26.

"It's extremely disappointing that the Trump administration looks like it will fail to reunite even half the children under five with their parent". Families were initially apprehended together, and then scattered to criminal jails after being charged with illegally crossing the border, or to civil immigration agencies to seek asylum or face deportation. Alex Azar, the secretary of Health and Human Services, told reporters on Thursday that under 3,000 children in total were separated by the government, though he couldn't specify the exact number.

As the ACLU argued in Friday's court hearing, those steps were originally designed for vetting a non-parent sponsor taking custody of a child who immigrated to the USA alone, not for reuniting children with their own parents.

However, she added, "There are some groups for which the reunification process is more hard". She said she is seeking clarification on how the government should handle these reunification cases given those requirements.

The department has manually reviewed the cases of all 11,800 children in its custody by working nights and weekends, White said.

Children in custody and their parents are also undergoing DNA cheek swabs, which will take about a week to confirm a match, the US said.

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Much of the confusion stems from the separate legal tracks children and their parents were set upon after their arrests at the border - while children were placed in the custody of the Health and Human Services department and flown to shelters and foster families across the country, their parents were largely detained by ICE or deported.

The government says the reunification process is going faster for parents now in ICE custody than those who have been released.

By July 6, every parent must have a way to contact their child. Children five and older must be reunited within 30 days.

The Justice Department told a federal judge that the government needs more time to "safely" reunite nearly 3,000 kids with their parents. "There was no reunification plan in place, and families have been separated for months".

"The government must reunite them".

Sabraw has also ordered the government to reunite almost 3,000 children five and older with their parents by July 26. This had shortened the period for confirmations to a few days from a couple of weeks. There are reports that some migrants agreed to be quickly deported, believing it would speed up the recovery of their children - only to board a plane and realize that their child would be left behind. In one account, a 14-month-old baby fleeing El Salvador a year ago was separated from his father at a port of entry in Southern California.

"DNA testing is intrusive and makes parents nervous", he said.