Trump Administration Will Not Meet Deadline for Reuniting Young Children

Remigio Civitarese
Luglio 12, 2018

In Grand Rapids, Mich., two boys and a girl who had been in temporary foster care were reunited with their Honduran fathers at a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement center about three months after they were split up.

The Department of Justice reported their list in a hearing on Tuesday in which they revealed to the American Civil Liberties Union that the missing father, as well as the child, "might be" us citizens. The children were "absolutely thrilled to be with their parents again".

Dana Sabraw, a federal judge in California, gave the administration until Tuesday to reunite children under five years old, and until July 26 to reunify older children. That effectively limited detention to 20 days - a timeline set under a 1997 court settlement known as Flores - for migrant adults apprehended with children. "The government has to prove they are unfit or a danger". They said an additional 17 could also join their parents if DNA results arrived and a criminal background check on a parent was completed by day's end.

The federal government was falling far short Tuesday of meeting a court-ordered deadline to reunite young children with their families after being separated at the U.S. -Mexico border, prompting a federal judge in San Diego to remind attorneys that his deadlines are not "aspirational goals".

On Tuesday, Sabraw showed little appetite for giving more time to the government unless it could show good reasons in specific cases. He stated, "These are firm deadlines".

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.

Speaking to reporters just before his flight to Europe for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, Trump blamed his administration's failure to meet the court's deadline on the detained families themselves, saying the "solution" to the crisis he created is "don't come to our country illegally". 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".

The civil liberties organization said in a statement Tuesday night that "while the government is now attempting to comply with the court orders, it's failing because of real logistical problems, like missing records or parents whose locations it failed to track". She said doubted that the judge would approve of the administration enacting it by convincing parents to sign away their children's right to release. Azar said for another 16 of the 102 migrants under five, the children weren't being reunited because the parents were found to either be "demonstrably unfit" or not to be the parents of the child in question.

The government has until July 26 to reunite almost 2,800 other children, ages five through 17, now in its custody.

A spokesperson for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in an email to CBS News that the child's parent is not now in ICE custody. "That's the solution", he told reporters. "Without him, I can't be happy".

The separations sparked national and global outrage that crossed party lines and including warnings from health experts that taking children from their parents would incur significant emotional harm. The Trump administration is trying to line up thousands more beds at military bases.

The Trump administration buckled to intense political pressure and abandoned the policy in June.

One child has not been matched with a parent, Fabian said.

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