The Trump administration said it has completed its reunification process of separated migrant children under the age of 5, with 46 deemed ineligible to be reunited with their parents.
Lawyers for the children also argued that a recent ruling in California that ordered the Trump administration to reunite all separated immigrant families by July 26 does not prohibit the court from reuniting J.S.R. and V.F.B. with their parents ahead of the deadline.
"If in fact 57 children have been reunited because of the lawsuit, we could not be more happy for those families", said Lee Gelernt, a lawyer for the civil rights group. He stated, "These are firm deadlines".
Government officials told reporters that 46 children were not returned to their parents for legitimate reasons already recognized by the court, including 22 children who face "safety concerns" posed by the adults with whom they had been traveling. Physicians and others blasted the policy and warned about lasting psychological damage to children and parents.
After the executive order was issued, the administration said it would seek to detain the families together indefinitely, much like a similar attempt by the Barack Obama administration, but that has so far been blocked by the courts. The bleeding still did not stop: "They were refusing to give me sanitary towels, I needed like 30 per day and we were given three per day", said Pagoada. Only now, they'll do it as a unit rather than separately.
In one instance, the administration said the parent of one of the separated minors was undergoing treatment for a communicable disease and would be reunited with their child once treatment was complete.
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.
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The Trump administration is missing its court-imposed deadline to reunite 102 young immigrant children with their parents. The U.S. government is in the process of contacting the 12 adults who were deported and working with foreign consulates in an effort to return their children to them, the officials said.
The zero-tolerance policy calls for the criminal prosecution of anyone caught crossing the border illegally.
"Elimination of any one of these steps increases the margin of error that children could be harmed", he said. "This is 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". "They're not aspirational goals", the judge said Tuesday, the day of the initial deadline, saying the government still had hours in the day to reunify the youngest migrants affected by the administration's policy.
'Judges run the system and illegals and traffickers know how it works.
"Our agencies' careful vetting procedures helped prevent the reunification of children with an alleged murderer, an adult convicted of child cruelty, and adults determined not to be the parent of the child", they added.
In a court filing released on Tuesday, U.S. officials admit they may have taken a child away from a U.S. citizen at the southern border. At Tuesday's hearing, he said the process is taking too long and needs to be "streamlined".
The government has until July 26 to reunite almost 2,800 other children, ages five through 17, now in its custody. Levy said that one mother of a four-year-old was told by federal authorities to find a larger apartment if she wanted her son back.
HHS has previously said there are "under 3,000" such children. He beamed while his son asked questions and played with toys when they were reunited at a federal immigration office in MI on Tuesday.