Trump Administration Will Not Meet Deadline for Reuniting Young Children

AUSTIN TX- JUNE 30 A demonstrator uses baby clothes to spell out the word

On Thursday, two days after its original deadline, the Trump administration announced that it has complied with the first part of a court order to return the almost 3,000 migrant children separated from their parents in recent months.

The government has said around 2,300 children were separated from their parents at the border as part of the government's policy, which was abandoned in June after intense protests.

The administration defended its screening, saying it discovered parents with serious criminal histories, five adults whose DNA tests showed they were not parents of the children they claimed to have, and one case of credible child abuse.

Ten of the children were ineligible for family reunification because their parent was in the "custody of U.S. Marshals Service" or "state or county custody". On Monday, Justice Department attorney Sarah Fabian told a federal court in San Diego that at least 54 children - and as many as 59 - will be reunited with their families in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "Of course, there remains a tremendous amount of hard work and similar obstacles facing our teams in reuniting the remaining families".

Noting that the Trump administration manufactured this disastrous situation with its inhumane policies in the first place, the ACLU vowed to keep up the pressure until all families separated by the White House's cruel policies are unified. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw subsequently declined to issue an extension, demanding instead that government lawyers return to court to explain why they would be unable to reunite the remaining children with their families by July 10.

The administration has also been ordered to reunite children aged between 5 and 17 by July 26.

The government is unaware of the location of the parent of one child, who according to a court filing may be a US citizen ― meaning he or she should not be in custody as a purported unauthorized immigrant.

Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project and the lead lawyer who argued for the preliminary injunction, said in a July 8 press release that the request for more time was unacceptable given the levels of trauma the children have already been subjected to. It now appears as if the Trump administration will clearly miss this deadline by a wide margin. "Accordingly, by the end of the day we will decide what remedies to recommend to the court for the non-compliance". Half of the adults have already been deported and the administration is working to contact them.

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Another boy and a girl who had been in temporary foster care were reunited with their Honduran fathers at the centre about three months after they were split up.

The separations sparked national and worldwide outrage that crossed party lines and including warnings from health experts that taking children from their parents would incur significant emotional harm.

The remaining 46 children were ineligible for many reasons, which were included in a statement released by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Trump stopped the separations before Sabraw's June 26 order that all children be reunited with their parents.

In the meantime, many of these children have had to face their immigration proceedings without their parents in court. Now, the lawsuit has spread into total reunification of all families separated at the border under Trump's zero-tolerance policy. She said the government said one would be reunited sometime Wednesday. He alleged that the parents only wanted all along for their kid to stay in the U.S., and that is why they agreed to leave without them.

A court ruled earlier this week that the administration cannot detain immigrant families long-term, upholding a 20-day time limit a child can be held in custody, and casting into doubt the future of Trump's immigration agenda.

In one case, the ACLU said, immigration officials reunited a mother with her six-month-old daughter then dropped them alone at bus stop late at night.

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