Thursday, 21 February, 2019


USA will reunite and release over 50 immigrant children

Fewer than half of child reunions will meet Tuesday's deadline ACLU says USA will reunite and release over 50 immigrant children
Bennie Garza | 12 July, 2018, 19:37

To make matters worse, they have been unable to locate the parent for over a year.

The ACLU, which launched the lawsuit that saw the Trump administration ordered to reunite all children separated from their families under its "zero tolerance" policy, said the administration looks set to fail to reunite even half of children under 5 with their parents.

Government lawyers stated in a court filing this week that the Trump administration had only reunited four children under the age of 5 with their families, out of the 102 separated from their parents at the U.S. -Mexico border in recent months. The administration missed the deadline and only guaranteed the reunification of 38 children.

This sort of carelessness raises major questions ahead of an even more significant deadline than Tuesday's: Sabraw had also ordered the government to reunite all of the almost 3,000 children it took from parents by July 26. It's unclear exactly how many older children must be reunited with their parents, but the Health and Human Services department has pegged the number at fewer than 3,000.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which sued the government over its separation policies, disputed that assertion. Previously, the DoJ had only informed the ACLU that the father was missing.

But President Donald Trump has indicated he opposes releasing entire families in most cases.

Federal judge Dana Sabraw is in charge of the case, which was originally filed by the ACLU against ICE in March. Both had arrived in the US after fleeing violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The first is to return to the Obama administration policy of releasing and monitoring families while they await deportation proceedings. The child is now in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement.

During the June 27th ruling, the Judge stated that "Measures were not in place to provide for communication between governmental agencies responsible for detaining parents and those responsible for housing children, or to provide for ready communication between separated parents and children. In fact, the judge has praised our progress and the focus on the safety of the children". "It's this administration separating children from their families". "The government can not lawfully detain parents if the parent is neither a flight nor danger [risk]", he said in an email. "That can be done". He stated, "These are firm deadlines". "They're not giving up on their goals".

On Tuesday, Trump gave his solution to the family separation and reunification crisis.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the White House's planned crackdown on immigration on May 7 - warning would-be immigrants that "If you cross the border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you".

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".

He told reporters that 14 illegal immigrants could not be reunited with children because some had criminal histories, some were determined not to be the parents of the children and one had a communicable disease.

On June 26, Sabraw set deadlines of Tuesday to reunite children under 5 with their families and July 26 for older children. It took five days for a medical professional to perform an exam without an ultrasound, and two days after that to tell her she had miscarried.

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