Feds to miss reunification deadline for about half of border families

Feds to miss reunification deadline for about half of border families

Feds to miss reunification deadline for about half of border families

On Friday, Fabian said in court that 19 children under age 5 in government custody had a parent who was already deported.

The administration has matched 86 parents to 83 children and 16 are not yet matched, Fabian said.

On a conference call, officials from HHS said they expect approximately half of the roughly 100 children under the age of five to be reunited with their parents by Tuesday, the deadline imposed by Judge Sabraw in a decision last week.

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The Trump administration asked a judge Friday for more time to reunite families who were separated at the border under its "zero-tolerance" policy to prosecute every person who enters the country illegally.

As Common Dreams reported, a federal judge ruled late last month that the Trump administration must reunite children under the age of five within 14 days and all of the almost 3,000 children it separated from their parents within 30 days.

More than 2,000 children in all were separated from their parents by US immigration authorities at the border this spring before President Donald Trump reversed course on June 20 amid an global outcry and said families should remain together. The agency is now reviewing the cases of all 11,800 children in its custody to determine whether they were separated from caregivers.

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The ORR program "was not created to track the circumstances" behind a child's arrival in the U.S., Azar said, and the Department of Homeland Security didn't tell the refugee agency which children were taken from parents and which came over the border unaccompanied. The deadline to reunite all other children with their parents is July 26.

"The Government has yet to provide any information about reunification plans, conditions, or dates", the lawyer for three Central American asylum seekers who have been separated from their children wrote in a court filing Thursday in a separate case in federal court in Washington, D.C. Those parents, who remain in immigration detention centers, sued the federal government last month for forcibly separating them from their children.

"Any confusion is due to a broken immigration system and court orders", Azar said. According to HHS, it's because the number of immigrant children in the agency's care is always in flux - and because they are working with other agencies to cross-check the numbers they have.

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The Trump administration confirmed on Monday that it will not meet the deadline set by a federal judge for reuniting parents with their young children. In those cases, protections are needed to make sure children are not handed over to adults seeking to exploit them. As of Sunday evening, however, the ACLU said the government was on track to reunite less than half of those with their families. In a statement, an administration official said its priority was "to ensure the safety of the children in its custody". "We would say that DNA is the last resort."(BEGIN OPTIONAL TRIM.) Alex Azar, the secretary of health and human services, said in a conference call with reporters Thursday that almost 3,000 children were in federal custody as a result of family separations meant to deter illegal immigration and that about 100 of them were under age 5. She said it has been more hard to reunite children when parents are outside government custody. He also said that adults can not be deported from the United States without their children.

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