ACLU says less than half of child reunions will meet deadline

ACLU says less than half of child reunions will meet deadline

ACLU says less than half of child reunions will meet deadline

"There's no question that the parties are meeting and conferring", District Judge Dana Sabraw said. "There was no reunification plan in place, and families have been separated for months".

I think what the hearing on Friday and today revealed is what a lot of people suspected, that there really wasn't a proper tracking system for these families and the government is now pulling information from a variety of sources and that's one of the reasons why the reunifications are taking so long. Several other children can't be reunited with their parents because the adults have serious criminal records, the government said.

Late last month, Sabraw, an appointee of Republican President George W. Bush, set a 14-day deadline to reunite children under 5 with their parents and a 30-day deadline for older children.

The judge acknowledged that more time may be justified only in specific cases, but initially left the Tuesday deadline intact for children under age 5, along with a July 26 deadline to reunite all children age 5 and above with their parents.

"I would adopt a more streamlined approach here", he said, adding: "The parents are not applying for custody".

That's only about half of the 100 or so infants and toddlers covered by the order.

. If the parent is actually in criminal custody now, reunification can not occur.

Fabian didn't say why they were being released, but US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has little space to hold families.

For the other parents, I think there just hasn't been enough of an effort made to locate the parent. They have to conduct criminal background checks of the parents.


Four could be released to a non-parent sponsor rather than a parent.

"The kids are all over the country", ACLU lawyer Lee Gelernt said.

In particularly, he said, parents who've already been released into the USA and disappeared could be found.

Earlier this year, the departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services - the agencies responsible for detaining families at the border and housing children who have been separated from their families, respectively - announced a new partnership in which potential sponsors to take children out of HHS custody would be fingerprinted, as would everyone in the sponsor's household.

Instead, he ordered both sides to provide a status report Monday night on the reunification procedures, and an update on numbers Tuesday morning.

The Justice Department also said that only 75 of the 102 children aged four and younger who were supposed to be returned to their parents by Tuesday are eligible for reunification. That process requires lengthy background checks for potential sponsors, including 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.

The Legal Aid Society in NY said it is representing at least two separated children under 5 years old that meet the judge's criteria for reunification on Tuesday. "This is a cruel and harmful policy that was aggravated by the Administration's lack of basic humanity in thinking ahead of time about how it would bring these families back together".

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