Feds say they will release, reunite 50 immigrant children

10 July, 2018, 00:06 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Feds say they will release, reunite 50 immigrant children

Under President Barack Obama, DNA testing of unauthorized border-crossers was rare, former administration officials said, but one said it was sometimes used as a last resort to verify family connections when placing unaccompanied minors with sponsors in the United States.

Once again, Southern District of California Judge Dana Sabraw held off on giving them an extension, and is instead demanding that they come back to court on Tuesday to explain how many families were reunited, why the government failed reunite the rest by the deadline, and how much more time it will need for those cases.

A federal judge orders the Trump administration to release the names of children, five years old and younger, who were separated from their parents at the border.

Federal officials have released updated statements revealing the total number of immigrant children in their care - a figure that includes children who crossed the border alone and children who were separated from their families after crossing.

The administration says federal law requires it to ensure that children are safe - and that, it contended, calls for more time.

By July 6, officials must make sure every separated parent has a way to contact their child. The agency is now reviewing the cases of all 11,800 children in its custody to determine whether they were separated from caregivers.

Of the 101 children under 5, about half are in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


"Not only are Plaintiffs being forcibly separated from their children without any legitimate reason, they are unable to communicate with their children on a sufficiently frequent basis", reads the report submitted to the court Thursday.

(END OPTIONAL TRIM.) In its motion, the administration asked the judge to clarify whether the court's order on reunifications applies to parents who have been deported.

But the reunification efforts have been complicated by the fact that government records assigning "family identification numbers" to immigrant families were reportedly deleted.

US officials on Thursday said that while they believe they're in compliance with "all aspects" of the order, they want the deadlines modified because government agencies - including the Department of Health and Human Services - are following "time-consuming" procedures like weekslong evaluations of homes where the children would be placed.

Lee Gelernt, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, argued the government does not have to follow such "lengthy, cumbersome procedures" to reunite separated families.

During the hearing the ACLU also accused the Trump administration of missing 10 children in its count of those in its custody aged newborn to five. All three parents in the D.C. lawsuit have spoken with their children, but the Honduran man was only able to speak with his daughter for the first time in almost a month on Tuesday. In a Thursday filing, the administration said it was trying to meet the deadlines but "in some instances it will not be able to complete the additional processes within the timelines the Court prescribed, particularly with regard to class members who are already not in Government custody, (e.g., because they have previously been paroled or released)".

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