Fewer than half of child-parent reunions will meet deadline: ACLU

Trump admin releases names of children under 5 separated at border

Those children and their parents, Fabian said, will be released from custody instead of being held in family detention centers run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Late last month, Sabraw, an appointee of Republican President George W. Bush, set a 14-day deadline to reunite children under 5 with their parents and a 30-day deadline for older children. Afterwards, the ACLU expanded its suit on behalf of the other parents and children the government planned to imminently separate.

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to be reunited with their parents, with many separated from their families under the Trump administration's recently rescinded "zero tolerance" family separation policy.

At a court hearing, Justice Department lawyer Sarah Fabian acknowledged the Trump administration won't meet the deadline for all the youngsters. On Monday, she said there were 102 children in that age group, and that two had already been returned to their parents. Twelve parents are facing criminal charges and nine have been released and have been lost track of. "They have to determine the fitness of the parents to be able to release the kids to them", John noted. If the parent is actually in criminal custody now, reunification can not occur.

The other problem is the government is using a very lengthy, cumbersome reunification process that was designed for children who were genuinely unaccompanied and are being given to someone coming forward to claim them, rather than this situation where the child was forcibly taken from the parent. Other parents have criminal records that prevent the families from being reunited, Fabian said. Once the children are handed over to their custody, ICE will release the families together.

As NPR's John Burnett explained Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services says it has hired 250 additional personnel in the sprint to comply with the court order. But more than 45 young children will remain in government custody away from family, including nine children whose parent was already deported, nine whose parent was released into the US and 12 whose parent is in criminal custody.

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Despite the progress over the weekend, a number of questions remained Monday.

Still, despite the frustrations and delays, Sabraw sounded a positive note, suggesting that he would be inclined to extend the July 10 deadline given the work that Fabian presented Monday.

Gelernt responded dryly that while the government has made "significant steps" since the judge's national injunction, he does not believe it is in "full compliance". That process requires lengthy background checks for potential sponsors, including parents.

For the remaining almost 50 children, some of their parents have already been deported, while others were released and have already disappeared into the shadows of the illegal immigrant population, and the government has struggled to track them down. On Monday, we learned more details about why the government would not hit that deadline - and just how far from the goal it would get. For children, the trauma of being separated from their parents will be long-lasting. Sabraw rejected that argument and reaffirmed that the deported parents, however many they may be, are part of the class action.

A person familiar with the reunification plan said managers at the sites where younger children are being housed have been instructed that they are to put the children in vans on Tuesday and take them to locations that are as yet unknown to them.

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