ACLU says less than half of child reunions will meet deadline

Fewer than half of child reunions will meet Tuesday's deadline ACLU says

Fewer than half of child reunions will meet Tuesday's deadline ACLU says

As for the 64 children who remain in custody, the administration provided a list of excuses that includes reasons behind the failure to reunify 64 of the children, such as eight "parents had serious criminal history" or one "parent detained in ICE custody is now being treated for a communicable disease".

Public outrage over the separations led President Donald Trump to retreat last month from his "zero-tolerance" policy toward unlawful border crossings. One parent was suspected of child abuse; another was living in a household with another adult who had an outstanding warrant for criminal sexual abuse of a minor. Nine were in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service for other offences.

Earlier in June, President Trump signed an executive order rolling back family separations, a policy his own administration implemented. The court has also required the administration to reunite the much larger group of older children by July 26. The ACLU claims that the government initially provided incomplete information about the children.

On Tuesday, Justice Department lawyers told Sabraw they would reunite 38 children by the deadline.

Her comments appear to be ringing true, as now the American Civil Liberties Union has come out and said that the administration gave them a list of 102 children who were under the age of 5 and that it "appears likely that less than half will be reunited" by Judge Dana Sabraw's deadline, which is Tuesday, July 10. But they say they have to do cheek swabs of the children and the parents to do DNA tests to establish parentage.

The government has pushed back on the idea that screenings should be streamlined, although officials said they will comply with the judge's order. The father held up his wrist and told reporters that after they were separated, he threatened to use a razor on himself if he couldn't speak to his son.

One immigration advocate told Reuters she was still awaiting details on when officials would return two children younger than 5 to their parents.

According to court filings, both children were forcibly taken from their parents at the border and brought to Noank Community Support Services in CT, where they are now being cared for. "Our position is the court has the authority to order the release of the parents in this case and reunify them with their children".

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DOJ lawyers said in a court filing that the government has tried for twelve months to locate the parents, to no avail.

Of the 103 infants and toddlers in government care, the administration said it had identified just 57 who were eligible for reunions. "This is real progress and I'm optimistic that many of these families will be reunited tomorrow, and then we'll have a very clear understanding as to who has not been reunited, why not, and what time-frame will be in place".

More than 2,000 children were separated from their parents by US immigration authorities at the border this spring before Trump reversed course on June 20 amid an worldwide outcry.

"When they release the parent they just don't walk out the door with no record", Gelernt said. "We know they missed the deadline".

The child 'cannot be reunified at this time because the parent's location has been unknown for more than a year, ' the Justice Department said, adding that 'records show the parent and child might be US citizens'.

Seven adults were determined not to be the parents of the child they entered with. HHS said they will be updating the ACLU later today on the exact number of those children they have in custody.

The struggle to track and match parents with children under five suggests meeting a Jul 26 deadline for reuniting the remaining older children could be fraught with problems.

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