Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
World News | By Joan Terry

Dozens of immigrant children will be reunited with parents

Dozens of immigrant children will be reunited with parents

Almost 3,000 kids were separated from their parents as a result of the White House's zero tolerance immigration policy, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar estimated last week.The government has not said how many of them were reunited with their parents, and officials have asked for more time to meet one of the reunification deadlines. A Honduran boy would remain with a foster family while the father remained in custody, although Krause said it was not clear to her why. Today's secretive reunification operation will be overseen by the Department of Homeland Security and will involve transporting the children hundreds of miles across the country to undisclosed locations. One parent was suspected of child abuse; another was living in a household with another adult who had an outstanding warrant for criminal sexual abuse of a minor. But on Monday, she said nine were removed from the United States and an additional nine were released here.

One day before a court-mandated deadline for reuniting dozens of children who had been separated from their parents under the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy, a Justice Department lawyer said the federal government would fall well short of the target.

Asked about the missed deadline, the president said: "Well, I have a solution".

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".

Abril Valdes with the American Civil Liberties Union of MI says the families were reunited Tuesday at a U.S.

"Let me put it this way: I think the government in the last 48 hours ... has taken significant steps", Gelernt said.

Of the almost 3,000 migrant minors who were separated from their parents and placed in federal custody, the Trump administration says at least 102 are under 5 years old.

The Legal Aid Society in NY said it is representing at least two children under five who meet the judge's criteria for reunification on Tuesday.

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Now the family detention system is at capacity - as are a network of about 100 shelters for migrant minors who traveled into the US without parents or a guardian and who now wait anywhere from a few weeks to years to have their cases resolved in the immigration courts. They will be set free in the U.S. pending the outcome of their immigration cases, which can take several years. Sabraw gave the Trump White House until Tuesday to reunite all children under the age of five with their parents, and ordered that the rest of the children must be unified with their parents by July 26.

Late last month, US District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego set a 14-day deadline to reunite children under 5 with their parents and a 30-day deadline for older children.

"These are firm deadlines; they are not aspirational goals", Sabraw said.

The Trump administration was working on final background checks for another five children ahead of Tuesday's deadline.

"We just don't know how much effort the government has made to find released parents", he said. This plan bypasses the lengthy "sponsor" process that is required to release an unaccompanied immigrant child from Health and Human Services custody.

The filing noted 13 others now deemed ineligible for reunification, for reasons ranging from parents now in the custody of other criminal justice agencies to a parent who is being treated for a communicable disease, and one who lives in a home with another adult who has a criminal background. The Trump administration fell far short of that requirement, saying that only a third of the families would be reunited by the end of the day. The three family detention facilities, two in Texas and one in Pennsylvania, can hold about 3,000 people.

Once detained, an undocumented person has long odds of even being offered bail in the first place under Trump, given the administration's more stringent policies on immigration. Some children were brought to the USA by someone who was not their biological parent, it said, adding that others had parents with serious criminal records.

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