US seeks to reunite more young immigrants as new deadline looms

Fewer than half of child reunions will meet Tuesday's deadline ACLU says

Less Than Half of The Separated Immigrant Toddlers Will be Reunited By Tomorrow's Deadline

Lee Gelernt, an ACLU lawyer involved in the lawsuit that led a federal judge to order the government to reunite families that were separated after crossing the Mexican border, said in text messages to CBS News that the ACLU has been unable to learn anything more about the child.

Her comments appear to be ringing true, as now the American Civil Liberties Union has come out and said that the administration gave them a list of 102 children who were under the age of 5 and that it "appears likely that less than half will be reunited" by Judge Dana Sabraw's deadline, which is Tuesday, July 10. He stated, "These are firm deadlines".

"Our staff came in early, made sure every backpack was full and every child got a hug and a goodbye", Juan Sánchez, the non-profit group's president and chief executive, said in a statement.

The infant is one of hundreds of children who have yet to be reunited with their parents, with many separated from their families under the Trump administration's recently rescinded "zero tolerance" family separation policy. Trump was forced to stop separating families last month after facing public outcry and a court challenge.

He similarly said the government should limit its use of DNA tests to reunite parents and children, following the ACLU's argument that the government was using the tests to delay family reunifications.

Sabraw's order included exceptions that might threaten the safety of the child. As a result, the number of children eligible to be reunited has shifted in recent days as the government has discovered some individuals were not parents as they claimed or had criminal records. Despite Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar's assurances that the government was on track to meet the dates laid out in the ruling, subsequent court filings showed that the Trump administration was seeking to push the deadline back. That deadline was not met, officials acknowledged, while noting plans were under way on Tuesday to reunite up to 54 migrant children under five with their parents. The original suit sought to reunite a migrant mother and her daughter who had fled violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo and were separated at the southern border. Another eight parents have been released while their children were still in custody, and the government won't be able to return their children yet either.

"But it is also stalling by insisting on sticking to status quo agency procedures in the face of extraordinarily unique circumstances".

They remained apart for two months, with Pulex in detention in El Paso and her daughter sent to live with a foster family in MI. The families will then be released, according to the Justice Department lawyer.

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. "I know very very little about this case", she said.

Sabraw issued a protective order shielding children's names and some reunification details from disclosure.

On Monday (Tuesday NZT), a federal judge in Los Angeles rejected the Trump administration's efforts to detain immigrant families in long-term facilities, calling it a "cynical attempt to undo a longstanding court settlement".

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". "That's the solution." Some of the separated families arrived at US ports of entry seeking asylum, which is not illegal.

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