Monday, 16 July, 2018

Trump Administration Will Not Meet Deadline for Reuniting Young Children

Christian from Honduras recounts his separation from his child at the border during a news conference at the Annunciation House in El Paso Texas Less Than Half of The Separated Immigrant Toddlers Will be Reunited By Tomorrow's Deadline
Deanna Wagner | 12 July, 2018, 15:47

On June 26, Sabraw set deadlines of Tuesday to reunite children under 5 with their families and July 26 for older children.

Another boy and a girl who had been in temporary foster care were reunited with their Honduran fathers at the 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" USA citizens.

On Monday, a federal judge in Los Angeles rejected a request by the U.S. Department of Justice to amend a decades-old court settlement that limits the amount of time immigrant children can be held in federal custody.

It was the largest single effort to date to undo the effects of President Donald Trump's zero-tolerance policy of separating families who try to slip across the Mexican border into the U.S. Authorities gave few details on where the reunions would be held, and many were expected to take place in private. The children were "absolutely thrilled to be with their parents again". They will be set free in the United States pending the outcome of their immigration cases, which can take several years.

With Tuesday's court-ordered deadline for the Trump administration to reunify children under 5 with their parents just hours away, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has said the government is likely to fail to meet its target. "Tell people not to come to our country illegally", he said. The father said he was still shaken by the ordeal he had to go through just to speak to his boy while he was in government custody.

Staff members at a nonprofit organization that has been housing numerous youngest children 'made sure every backpack was full and every child got a hug and a goodbye, ' Southwest Key CEO Juan Sanchez said.

Tornillo, about 50 miles southeast of El Paso, now houses more than 350 immigrant minors, including 16 children who were separated from their parents after they were apprehended at the border, said Rodriguez, who toured the facility Friday along with state Rep. Lina Ortega. The parents will be free while their cases wind through immigration court, which can take years, and may be required to wear ankle monitors. According to official records, there are at least 84 children under 5 years old that were separated from parents.

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The government has until 3 p.m. PDT (2200 GMT) on Thursday to explain to U.S. Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego how many children still must be reunited with their parents and to inform him if it met Tuesday's deadline for reuniting children under five.

Sabraw showed little appetite for giving more time to the government unless it could show good reasons in specific cases.

"These are firm deadlines". "They're not giving up on their goals".

Parents in US Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody "for the most part" are being taken to locations near their children and the families will be released, Justice Department attorney Sarah Fabian said in court. The Trump administration was working on final background checks for another five children ahead of Tuesday's (Wednesday NZT) deadline. 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".

'If we find out they are not the legal parent, then clearly we are not going to reunite them, ' Meekins said. The ACLU contends that there may be more separated children that the government has not counted. "The government has to prove they are unfit or a danger".

A demonstrator uses baby onesies to spell out "reunite" during a rally against the Trump administration's immigration policies outside the Texas Capitol, in Austin, Texas, on June 30.

"There's no question that the parties are meeting and conferring", she said.