Trump admin releases names of children under 5 separated at border

Trump admin releases names of children under 5 separated at border

Under normal circumstances the government said it would perform extensive checks on all those in the household where an illegal immigrant child being released from federal custody would end up. The boy was secured in a booster seat, and father and son were driven away.

The case includes a broader group of thousands of other children and parents, but the hearing focused largely on the pressing deadline for the children under 5.

Some of the separated families arrived at USA ports of entry seeking asylum, which is not illegal.

"The objective of the [Trafficking Victims Protection Act ] is to promote the best interests of the child and to reunite families", the ACLU had argued.

A federal judge on Tuesday told the Trump administration to adhere to the deadline for reuniting children separated from their parents under the "zero tolerance" policy, even as officials have said they'll be unable to meet it.

"Well, I have a solution".

Attorneys for the government and the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed the original lawsuit challenging family separations, said they worked together intensely over the weekend to identify the families affected by the deadline and to work out how to move forward.

The infant is one of hundreds of children who have yet to be reunited with their parents, with many separated from their families under the Trump administration's recently rescinded "zero tolerance" family separation policy. Two children have already been reunited with their parents, lawyers said.

More than 2,000 children were separated from their parents by USA immigration authorities at the border this spring before Trump reversed course on June 20 amid an worldwide outcry.

U.S. Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego told government attorneys he was sticking with deadlines he set last month, when he ordered children under five to be reunited Tuesday and another 2,000 to be back with their parents by July 26.

The judge acknowledged that more time may be justified only in specific cases, but initially left the Tuesday deadline intact for children under age 5, along with a July 26 deadline to reunite all children age 5 and above with their parents.

Rebuffing White House requests, Sabraw also declined to extend the deadlines for reunification, declaring that they are "firm deadlines" not "aspirational goals".

ACLU court filings have said the government is asking for needless provisions for reuniting families that would not happen if the families had not been separated in the first place. Around 80 percent of them are teenagers who tried to make the crossing without their parents, HHS Secretary Alex Azar has said.

Six of the 102 children are not eligible for reunification because they have a parent with a criminal history or were separated from someone who is not their parent.

Under the "zero-tolerance", policy, while parents entering the United States illegally were held for prosecution, children were placed in Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) facilities across the country. But the government does not have the room: Immigration and Customs Enforcement has three family detention centers with space for 3,000 people, and they are already at or near capacity, though the Trump administration is trying to line up space at military bases.

Also, on Monday, a federal judge in Los Angeles emphatically rejected the Trump administration's efforts to detain immigrant families for an extended period.

One of them might be a child of a US citizen, the Justice Department acknowledged Tuesday when it notified a federal judge about the progress being made to complete more than 100 reunions. The judge refused to modify that.

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