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

Fewer than half of child reunions will meet Tuesday's deadline ACLU says

Under fire over his administration's failure to meet a court-ordered deadline to reunite parents with the youngest children taken away under his "zero tolerance" immigration policy, Donald Trump reacted with familiar defiance.

After a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to reunite the immigrant families it has separated, there's been a trickle of stories of parents being reunited with their kids.

As for most of the rest of the under-5 children who have yet to reunited with their families, Fabian said that their parents have already been released into the USA, have been deported, or are behind bars on criminal charges.

"DNA testing doesn't need to be done in every case", they said.

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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.

All parties are expected to be back in court on Monday at 10 a.m. PDT (1 p.m. EDT) in San Diego, where next steps will be discussed, the ACLU said. Some children were brought to the United States by someone who was not their biological parent, it said, adding that others had parents with serious criminal records.

Among the other remaining question marks is whether authorities can streamline their vetting process for the migrant parents - which ACLU attorneys have described as needlessly cumbersome - and whether the government can pass along the locations migrant families will be released from custody, so that charity groups can more quickly offer them support.

On June 26, Sabraw, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, set the deadlines of Tuesday to reunite children under 5 with their families and July 26 for the rest of the children.

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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.

One of them might be a child of a USA citizen, the Justice Department acknowledged Tuesday when it notified a federal judge about the progress being made to complete more than 100 reunions. They come amid a tide of national and global outrage over such young children being taken from their parents.

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. "Tell people not to come to our country illegally", he said. The first is to return to the Obama administration policy of releasing and monitoring families while they await deportation proceedings. They have to conduct criminal background checks of the parents. As of Sunday evening, however, the ACLU said the government was on track to reunite less than half of those with their families.

After announcing on June 20 that family separations would stop, the federal government said it will instead keep some families together in detention facilities. American Civil Liberties Union attorney Lee Gelernt said in court on Tuesday that he wished the 1997 Flores settlement went so far as to require the release of parents with their children, but he agreed with the government attorney that it does not. At least nine will not be reunited by the deadline because their parents were deported without them. There is still one child that the government has no parental information on. They said an additional 17 could also join their parents if DNA results arrived and a criminal background check on a parent was completed by day's end.

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