Trump administration will miss deadline to reunite separated parents, children

Trump administration will miss deadline to reunite separated parents, children

The American Civil Liberties Union received the list of the names of the almost 100 children under the age of 5 who were separated from their parents at the border, according to a group spokesman.

"This is real progress and I'm optimistic that many of these families will be reunited tomorrow and we'll have a very clear understanding as to who has not been reunited, why not, and a time frame in place", he said.

The hearing Monday focused primarily on the status of the youngest children, and did not include details on whether the government would be able to meet the deadline for reuniting the older children with their parents later this month.

So far, the court has yet to change the reunification deadlines, which are set for July 10 for children under 5 and July 26 as the deadline for all children separated from their parents.

For the remaining almost 50 children, some of their parents have already been deported, while others were released and have already disappeared into the shadows of the illegal immigrant population, and the government has struggled to track them down. In the case of nine others, the parents have been released and their locations are unknown, she said. But on Monday, she said nine were removed from the United States and another nine were released here. For children, the trauma of being separated from their parents will be long-lasting. They come amid a tide of national and worldwide outrage over such young children being taken from their parents.

Monday's hearing set the stage for a dramatic day of reunifications on Tuesday across the country, though they are likely to occur largely outside public view.

In other words, only about half of the 96 children under the age of 5 (excluding those six) will have been reunified with their parents by the court-ordered deadline on Tuesday.

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During separation, parents were sent into federal custody while the children were taken by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and held at holding facilities often thousands of miles (kilometers) from their parents. As noted above, we do not know exactly how many children were separated from their families or how many have rejoined them. Meanwhile, some separated children have been entered into an Obama-era foster care system, where temporary guardians described them as "shell-shocked".

So far, two children under 5 years old have been returned to their families.

A number of children can not be released to their parents, either because the parents were released from custody into the United States or deported or because the parents are serving criminal sentences. Some parents of children under 5 were already deported, presenting an extra challenge for reunification.

Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project and the lead lawyer who argued for the preliminary injunction, said in a July 8 press release that the request for more time was unacceptable given the levels of trauma the children have already been subjected to. The families will be released after they are reunited. Unaccompanied children, some as young as 1 year old, have been kept in large chain link cages, and in some cases, forced to represent themselves in court.

Attorneys for the government and the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed the original lawsuit challenging family separations, said they worked together intensely over the weekend to identify the families affected by the deadline and to work out how to move forward.

"They're working nights and weekends to comply with the judge's orders".

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