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Trump Administration Will Not Meet Deadline for Reuniting Young Children

13 July, 2018, 02:39 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • Christian from Honduras recounts his separation from his child at the border during a news conference at the Annunciation House in El Paso Texas

Lawyers representing two children being held in CT after being separated from their parents at the U.S. -Mexico border urged a federal judge Wednesday to reunite the minors with their parents as quickly as possible.

The US administration will not meet a July 10 deadline to reunite all children under the age of five with their families.

PHOENIX- The federal government fell well short of the first deadline to reunify young migrant children with their families.

"What these children are going through, they deserve to be with their parents", she said.

Twenty-two children were not reunited with family because of safety concerns, according to the government, including 11 because of the serious criminal history of the parent, one adult who allegedly abused the child and one adult who planned to live with another person charged with sexually abusing a child.

"Their statement is vague at a minimum", ACLU lawyer Lee Gelernt said, noting that a San Diego judge had set a deadline of Tuesday for reuniting those children.

However, Sabraw has not been pleased with the government's efforts. "I just want to say that whatever the court does, we are engaging in an exercise to uphold the law". "They're not aspirational goals".

The Justice Department has insisted that its "zero tolerance" immigration policy - which focuses on prosecuting all adults who illegally enter the United States but not necessarily detaining them - is still intact. But there were no instructions on how to undo the process.

Thousands of babies, toddlers and older children were separated from their parents at the border this spring before Trump reversed course on June 20 amid an worldwide outcry over the images of youngsters in chain-link cages and audio recordings of children crying.

The problem was not lost on Judge Sabraw.

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As the government awaits the court's Monday decision on whether or not the timeline for family reunification will be extended, time is of the essence: doctors have repeatedly warned that being separated from parents for even short periods of time can cause symptoms of toxic stress in children, which can derail healthy emotional development.

Monday's hearing set the stage for a dramatic day of reunifications on Tuesday across the country, though they are likely to occur largely outside public view. Government agencies failed to track either group in a way that would allow for the children to be easily returned to the parents once the parents were released.

Children wrap themselves up with Mylar blankets to "symbolically represent the thousands of children separated from families on the border, sleeping on floors and held in cages", on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The ACLU claims that the government initially provided incomplete information about the children. The samples should be destroyed in 7 days and not used for any other purposes, Sabraw ruled.

And reunification is only step one for the families in question.

They were finally reunited recently and will stay with relatives in OH while their claims are processed. Only now, they'll do it as a unit rather than separately.

Sarah Fabian, a Justice Department lawyer, said that as of this weekend, there were 102 children under five who were still in government custody and separated from their parents. It also has not had much luck in federal courtrooms.

The government has said around 2,300 children were separated from their parents at the border under the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy on illegal immigration, which was abandoned in June after intense protests.

Avenatti wants USA immigration officials to allow the girls' father, Hector Santos, to be allowed to travel to NY from Texas, where he is wearing a monitoring device.

"This is real progress, I'm optimistic that many of these families will be reunited tomorrow", he told the courtroom.



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