Judge ahead of family reunifications deadline: Progress 'remarkable' but still 'deeply troubling'

Judge ahead of family reunifications deadline: Progress 'remarkable' but still 'deeply troubling'

Judge ahead of family reunifications deadline: Progress 'remarkable' but still 'deeply troubling'

The judge wanted clarity on how numerous more than 2,551 parents eligible for reunions are no longer in the United States.

As if that were not bad enough, there are reports the Department of Homeland Security and the HHS Department destroyed documents relating to the family separation policy.

Among those who remain apart from their children is Lourdes de Leon of Guatemala.

More than 1,400 children out of over 2,500 separated at the U.S. The kids remain in the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

More than 450 immigrant parents separated from their children when they entered the United States illegally are no longer in the country but their children are, according to a joint court filing on Monday by the federal government and the ACLU.

United States government attorneys said in court documents that they expected to reunite all of the 1,800 children they consider eligible for reunification by the deadline set in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in California's southern district court. "It would be hard to expect that number of agencies to seamlessly coordinate a family reunification effort".

But as of the morning count, 711 children were still in ORR custody because their parents are either already out of the country, considered ineligible for reunification, or have waived their rights to their children.

The deported parents are not included in those ordered for reunification. This is a number that worries immigration attorneys and advocates because these adults may have already been deported.

For the last two weeks, children have been arriving steadily at ICE locations in Texas, Arizona and New Mexico to be reunited with parents.

"There is profound trauma and confusion about this process, with many not knowing when or if they would ever see their children again", said Royce Murray with the American Immigration Council, whose lawyers have met with more than 150 detained parents in the El Paso, Texas area over the past few days. Others also said the forms were hard to understand due to a language barrier or misinformation from immigration officials.

The parents and children were separated as part of U.S. President Donald Trump's "zero tolerance" policy on illegal immigration. "It is critical that we are able to reach these parents and independently verify that they made this important choice with full knowledge of their families' legal rights".

Martin Panuco  U.S. District Court in the Southern District of California via APJudge Dana Sabraw
Martin Panuco U.S. District Court in the Southern District of California via APJudge Dana Sabraw

21 children whose parents had "red flags" from their background checks.

There was an influx as government agencies worked to reconnect families before a court-imposed deadline on July 26th.

According to a court filing, the government has reunited 1,442 families with children aged 5 and older by late Thursday.

"The parties are really working through the issues in a very measured and successful way given the enormity of the undertaking", Sabraw said at a status hearing early this month.

"There's a lot of concern that those standards are being inconsistently applied, or parents are being arbitrarily denied access to their children", Sandweg pointed out. "There is a risk that these children will be indefinitely separated from their parents", ACLU wrote.

He added the government will "work with the court. should these individuals want reunification".

"There may be 463, there may be more, it's not certain", he said. Information about these exclusions "was too general to be useful", ACLU said.

The government was expected to provide the judge with an updated count by the end of Thursday.

The report was requested by Sabraw ahead of the Trump administration's 30-day deadline Thursday to reunite separated families.

The government previously missed a deadline set by Judge Sabraw for July 10, which required all children under the age of five to be returned to their parents.

Sabraw addressed the government's uncertainty.


Related news



[an error occurred while processing the directive]