DHS Refuses to 'Reunite' Children with Adults Who Aren't Their Parents

11 July, 2018, 01:15 | Author: Carlos George
  • Trump admin releases names of children under 5 separated at border

The government has said only 3 of the children had accompanying adults that were found to not be their parents.

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Forcing families that have already suffered the enormous trauma of being wrenched apart and jailed separately for weeks to wait even longer before they are reunited, the Trump administration is on pace to unify less than half of detained children under five years old with their parents before Tuesday's court-imposed deadline, the ACLU said late Sunday.

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.

The ACLU said late Sunday the administration provided it with a list of 102 children under 5 years old and that "appears likely that less than half will be reunited" by Tuesday's deadline.

Dozens of immigrant children will be released from detention centres and reunited with their parents on Tuesday (Wednesday NZ Time).

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.

Amid enormous backlash and worldwide outcry, Trump reversed course on 20 June and said families should remain together until the parents' immigration proceedings are complete, a process that can take months.

Under-5 children who will remain separated for now include parents have already been released into the United States, have been deported, or are behind bars on criminal charges.

Despite the delays, the judge reportedly said he had seen "real progress and I'm optimistic that many of these families will be reunited tomorrow, and then we'll have a very clear understanding as to who has not been reunited, why not, and what time-frame will be in place".

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Meanwhile, the administration faces a second, bigger deadline - July 26 - to reunite thousands of older children who were also separated from their families at the border in the past few months.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order last month promising to end the practice of child separation at the border. "Don't come to our country illegally", he said.

"It's extremely disappointing that the Trump administration looks like it will fail to reunite even half the children under 5 with their parent", said ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt.

For the parents and children who have been brought back together, thecelebrations may be short-lived.

And if they continue to drag on, what would you ask the judge to do in that instance?

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

On Friday, Fabian told the judge 101 children were under 5. That child and his or her parent may be US citizens, according to the filing.

US District Judge Dolly Gee said the government had failed to present new evidence to support revising a court order that limits the detention of children who crossed the border illegally.

Gelernt, the ACLU lawyer, said in court that the government had taken "significant steps" to reunite families but should be moving more quickly.

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