US rights group in dark about gov't compliance with immigration order

US rights group in dark about gov't compliance with immigration order

US rights group in dark about gov't compliance with immigration order

All migrant children under age 5 who are eligible will be reunified with their parents by early on Thursday morning, a Trump administration official said, but the announcement is being met with skepticism from rights groups.

Under-5 children who will remain separated for now include parents have already been released into the USA, have been deported, or are behind bars on criminal charges.

These include seven adults who were found not to be the child's parent, one adult who was alleged to have abused the child, one adult who was allegedly planning to house the child with a suspected child sex offender, and 11 adults who have a serious criminal history such as kidnapping, murder, or domestic violence.

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".

The Department of Health and Human Services referred to figures released on Tuesday, when the Trump administration said four children were reunited and at least 34 more would be by the end of the day, about half of the total in that group.

"Of course, there remains a tremendous amount of hard work and similar obstacles facing our teams in reuniting the remaining families", the officials said.

The allegations came in a joint status report filed by the ACLU, representing families separated by Trump administration policy, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

One day before a court-mandated deadline for reuniting dozens of children who had been separated from their parents under the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy, a Justice Department lawyer said the federal government would fall well short of the target.

"That is going to be a significant undertaking", U.S. Judge Dana Sabraw said on Tuesday of the next deadline. The government outlined how it was meeting the previously issued court order to streamline its process, and said that in some cases it was unable to complete the parent-child verification process. The administration missed the deadline and only guaranteed the reunification of 38 children.

The agency didn't respond to Business Insider's request for comment on why six of the intended 63 children weren't reunited.

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.

That number is not surprising, but many are outraged over the separation of immigrant families. The child is now in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Trump stopped the separations before Sabraw's June 26 order that all children be reunited with their parents.

One immigration advocate told Reuters she was still awaiting details on when officials would return two children younger than 5 to their parents.

The Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy meant families who crossed into the US illegally from Central America should go straight to jail.

ICE did list some information in the court filing Thursday, listing things like "Robbery conviction" and "Wanted by El Salvador" as reasons certain adults had been excluded from the class deemed eligible to be reunited with their children. Several parents have already been deported, while authorities disqualified others due to criminal records. The families will then be released, according to the Justice Department lawyer.

And the ACLU also called for the government to reimburse families for the cost of traveling to be reunited, and for the DNA testing used in the reunification process.

Witnesses in Phoenix said some toddlers did not recognize their mothers, tried to get away from them, and cried out for government workers who had been watching them.

"But until I have both my children with me, I don't know what I will do", she said. Another 24 were not reunified because their parent had been deported or was now in state or federal custody awaiting trial.

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