Immigrant Toddlers Reunited With Families, US Officials Say

Immigrant Toddlers Reunited With Families, US Officials Say

The Trump administration announced Thursday that all eligible children under age 5 who had been separated from their parents at the border have been reunited with their families.

This sort of carelessness raises major questions ahead of an even more significant deadline than Tuesday's: Sabraw had also ordered the government to reunite all of the almost 3,000 children it took from parents by July 26.

On Thursday, the government will give Sabraw a progress report on the younger children and whether it expects to meet the deadline for the older group. The ACLU would like a faster reunification process while the US government claims they are bound by strict protocols, such as a plan to DNA test every child and parent before a reunification can occur.

Trump's hardline immigration policy refers all apprehended undocumented adults for criminal prosecution - a break with past administrations who limited criminal referral for most adults who illegally cross into the USA with their juvenile family members.

Sabraw showed little appetite for giving more time to the government unless it could show good reasons in specific cases.

"These are firm deadlines".

The Trump administration was working on final background checks for another five children ahead of Tuesday's deadline.

ACLU lawyers said that regardless of the reunifications, the government missed the court-ordered deadline of Tuesday and would be deciding how to address the non-compliance with the court.

Twenty-two children were not reunited with family because of safety concerns, according to the government, including 11 because of the serious criminal history of the parent, one adult who allegedly abused the child and one adult who planned to live with another person charged with sexually abusing a child.

Health and Human Services manages their care inside the US, while Homeland Security has control over adults in immigration detention, and the Justice Department manages the immigration courts.

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The news agency noted that the request followed North Koreans not showing up to the meeting with USA representatives. The transfer of remains between North Korea and the United States has not taken place since 2005.

American Civil Liberties Union attorney Lee Gelernt, whose organization filed the lawsuit that forced the administration's hand, said he was "both thrilled and disappointed" with the government's work on the deadline.

"Things have taken a real step forward", Mr Gelernt said. "We know they missed the deadline". He is the only child I have with my wife.

The families that have been reunited were also released from detention while they undergo immigration proceedings, which could ultimately lead to them being deported, so long as they do not commit crimes and do attend court hearings and meetings with immigration agents.

To make their case, the lawyers for the children presented testimony that the separations have traumatized the children and caused depression, anxiety and emotional distress.

The judge in June ordered the government to reunite by Tuesday the youngest children separated from their parents and all children by July 26. One deported father, however, told the Los Angeles Times earlier this week that he didn't realize what he was doing when he signed the paperwork to leave his child behind.

In ordering an end to the separation of families, the president said they should instead be detained together. "The government has to prove they are unfit or a danger".

In separating families, Trump sought to advance a hard-line immigration policy that past administrations had considered and quickly abandoned as inhumane. The Trump administration is trying to line up thousands of more beds at military bases.

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.

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.

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