ACLU says less than half of child reunions will meet deadline

Christian from Honduras recounts his separation from his child at the border during a news conference at the Annunciation House in El Paso Texas

ACLU says less than half of child reunions will meet deadline

The three fathers were "just holding them and hugging them and telling them that everything was fine and that they were never going to be separated again", said immigration lawyer Abril Valdes.

In Grand Rapids, the children were "absolutely thrilled to be with their parents again".

Late last month, U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego set a 14-day deadline to reunite children under 5 with their parents and a 30-day deadline for older children.

It wasn't immediately clear how many children left detention facilities Tuesday or how many remain.

Also on Thursday, the government will update Sabraw on the number of children that still must be reunited with and whether the government expects to meet the July 26 deadline.

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.

In some cases, he said, "If we had just reunited kids with the adults, we would be putting them in the care of a rapist, a kidnapper, a child abuser, and someone who was charged with murder in their home nation".

Tuesday marked the federal judge-ordered deadline for the Trump administration to reunite all 102 children under the age of five with their parents.

"These are firm deadlines".

The ACLU, which launched the lawsuit that saw the Trump administration ordered to reunite all children separated from their families under its "zero tolerance" policy, said the administration looks set to fail to reunite even half of children under 5 with their parents.

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Asked Tuesday morning about the missed deadline, Trump said: 'Well, I have a solution. The ACLU would like a faster reunification process while the USA government claims they are bound by strict protocols, such as a plan to DNA test every child and parent before a reunification can occur.

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".

"Things have taken a real step forward", Gelernt said.

At a bus station in Phoenix on Tuesday night, a 22-year-old woman who only gave her first name, Gisela, for safety concerns, said she had been apart from her 4-year-old son for over a month after presenting herself at a port of entry in Texas to seek asylum. She ruled at the time that immigrant children generally can't be held longer than 20 days.

The Trump administration was working on final background checks for another five children ahead of Tuesday's deadline. Thirty children will not be reunited by Tuesday, for a range of reasons.

Children separated from their parents, some as young as 1 year old, are appearing in US immigration court. The father held up his wrist and told reporters that after they were separated, he threatened to use a razor on himself if he couldn't speak to his son. "Without him, I can't be happy".

Abril Valdez of the ACLU of MI said the government was "vague" on the time and place of the reunifications that could come on Tuesday (Wednesday NZT) for two Honduran men he represents. The Trump administration is trying to line up thousands more beds at military bases.

Last December, the Trump administration quietly reversed an Obama-era directive that prevented Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers from detaining pregnant women except in extreme cases, altering the policy to prevent holding only women in their third trimester.

Staff members at a nonprofit organization that has been housing numerous youngest children 'made sure every backpack was full and every child got a hug and a goodbye, ' Southwest Key CEO Juan Sanchez said.

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