Feds on track to reunite 54 of 102 illegal immigrant families

While President Donald Trump and administration officials took to social media to celebrate the news that 12 Thai children and their soccer coach will be reunited with their families after being trapped in a cave for 18 days, the White House didn't even come close to meeting Tuesday's court-imposed deadline to reunite 102 children under the age of five with their parents after they were separated by Trump's cruel policies.

Immigrant children around the US left shelters with their backpacks and a tender goodbye hug from staff members onTuesday as the Trump administration began reuniting dozens of youngsters with their parents under a court-ordered deadline.

"I believe that they can still reunite some [more] individuals by tomorrow", Gelernt said during the hearing.

In a last-ditch effort to secure more time, the government submitted a filing on Friday suggesting that it would need more days, admitting that the administration is struggling to find parents they have already deported.

"It's extremely disappointing the government will not be in full compliance with the court order, but the judge has stepped in to manage this mess of the administration's making", Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project, said in a statement. In the courtroom, they expressed openness to collaborating on several issues, including searching for parents who have been removed from the US and double-checking the criminal records.

The hearing Monday focused primarily on the status of the youngest children and did not include details on whether the government would be able to meet the deadline for reuniting the older children with their parents later this month.

The move comes in advance of a Monday hearing on whether to extend the Tuesday deadline for reuniting the children with their families.

The lead-up to the Monday court appointment indicated the duress the Trump administration is now under in trying to swiftly reunite the families it has separated - and just how messy the situation has gotten.


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. Fabian explained that of the 102 children under 5 who have been identified, only 54 of them-possibly 59-would be reunited with their families on time.

One there is no information on the parent.

In this photo June 17 photo provided by US Customs and Border Protection, people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the United States, rest in one of the cages at an immigration centre in McAllen, Texas.

The reunions are expected to be carried out in secret or secure locations, with parents taken from the detention centers where they have been held and children brought from federal shelters or foster homes.

Ten of the children were ineligible for family reunification because their parent was in the "custody of U.S. Marshals Service" or "state or county custody". They have to conduct criminal background checks of the parents.

Protesters in New York City marched last month in support of the families separated at U.S. -Mexico border. One area of disagreement is DNA testing on parents and children, with the government saying it should be the general rule and the ACLU saying it should be done only when no other evidence is available to prove parentage. But he said those who remain split from their parents are "in for a long process".

The American Civil Liberties Union received the list of the names of the almost 100 children under the age of 5 who were separated from their parents at the border, according to a group spokesman.

  • Tracy Klein