Trump Administration Says All Eligible Young Migrant Children Have Been Reunited


Children separated from their parents, some as young as 1 year old, are appearing in USA immigration court.

Six of the 102 children are not eligible for reunification because they have a parent with a criminal history or were separated from someone who is not their parent.

Handout/Reuters Baby and toddler high chairs are seen at the Bristow facility, in this photo provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in Bristow, Virginia.

Now, one day before a Tuesday deadline, the administration says authorities expect to return just over half of the kids - but that they will need more time to figure out the rest.

Sabraw has set a final deadline for the government to reunite the 2,000 children who remain in custody with their parents: July 26.

"It's extremely disappointing that the Trump administration looks like it will fail to reunite even half the children under 5 with their parents". "I am optimistic that many of these families will be reunited by tomorrow and we will have a clear understanding of who has been reunited and the reasons for not reuniting others". The ACLU claims that the government initially provided incomplete information about the children. But they say they have to do cheek swabs of the children and the parents to do DNA tests to establish parentage. Although President Trump's executive order supposedly puts a stop to the family separation practice, documents newly obtained by Slate show the HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement has begun discussing the possibility of a "surge" in child separations, with officials proposing the financial implications of an additional "25,400 beds for immigrant minors by the end of the calendar year". "That's the solution", he told reporters. One child has still not had either of its parents identified.

The government has reportedly struggled to offer exact information about the number of children separated from their parents.

As the government awaits the court's Monday decision on whether or not the timeline for family reunification will be extended, time is of the essence: doctors have repeatedly warned that being separated from parents for even short periods of time can cause symptoms of toxic stress in children, which can derail healthy emotional development.

The government said 24 children are now not eligible to be reunited with parents "due to circumstances of the adults in question", 11 of whom are in criminal custody with either the U.S. Marshals Service or state jails.

It was the largest single effort to date to undo one effect of President Donald Trump's zero-tolerance policy - separating families who try to slip across the Mexican border into the country.

In this June 25 photo, a mother migrating from Honduras holds her 1-year-old child while surrendering to U.S. Border Patrol agents after illegally crossing the border, near McAllen, Texas.

The three fathers were "just holding them and hugging them and telling them that everything was fine and that they were never going to be separated again", immigration lawyer Abril Valdes said.

Sabraw ordered the reunifications in response to a class-action lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of some 2,000 parents. Scores of children separated from their families were sent to government-contracted shelters or foster care hundreds of miles away from where their parents were detained.

The distance between many children and their parent or parents have been coupled with logistical challenges and resulted in a major bureaucratic snag. "The government has to prove they are unfit or a danger".

Late last month, U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego set a 14-day deadline to reunite children under 5 with their parents and a 30-day deadline for older children.


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