US Seeking to Delay Reuniting Immigrant Children With Parents

Unaccompanied minors are seen at a facility in Bristow Virginia on June 21. 

Unaccompanied minors are seen at a facility in Bristow Virginia on June 21. 

A Justice Department lawyer told the judge Friday that reunions should happen swiftly for approximately half of the 101 children under age 5 who are being held in shelters overseen by Health and Human Services.

The government said it is willing to propose an alternative timeline.

Falcon, communications director for RAICES, a nonprofit in Texas that offers free and low-priced legal services to immigrants and refugees, called the move deplorable because collecting such sensitive data would allow the government to conduct surveillance on the children "for the rest of their lives".

Another 12 cases need more assessment, Mr.

It's been more than a week since they released a tally of how many kids from separated families remain in government custody. "Many of the key witnesses will likely be moved in the coming days and weeks with no assurances as to their well-being or whereabouts, and continued chaos is inevitable", their motion says.

At the hearing Friday afternoon, Fabian argued the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act sets out requirements officials have to follow when they release children into someone's custody.

It is disgraceful that the Trump Administration had no plan to reunite children after tearing them away from their parents, and it is even more disgraceful that they are now trying to delay the court-ordered deadline for doing so.

If and when children are released to adults who are now in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security, it is not yet clear what will happen to them.

Azar said about 100 of the separated children are younger than 5 and subject to the rapidly approaching July 10 deadline.

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The Trump administration has dismissed accusations that its challenges in reunifying families were of its own making. Last month, the president issued an executive order halting the practice after it drew outrage from elected officials from both sides of the aisle as well as from the general public.

The judge noted that "the government readily keeps track of personal property of detainees in criminal and immigration proceedings. yet the government has no system in place to keep track of, provide effective communication with, and promptly produce alien children".

"There are then some groups for whom the reunification process is more hard", lawyer Sarah Fabian told the judge.

But critics warn that very young children cannot give permission for such tests, which they say could ultimately be used for further monitoring, and that the policy shows the government never registered people properly when they were first detained. He said he's skeptical about the DNA testing. "The government is saying DNA every single person".

According to Azar, the agency's traditional method of employing birth records to match parents to their children is time-consuming. But Azar told reporters on Thursday that, in a number of ways, the department has had to "adapt" existing processes in order to meet "new demands and circumstances". Of those 86 parents, 46 are in immigration detention facilities, 19 have been released from the custody of US Customs and Immigration Enforcement, and 19 have already been deported.

The government also asked if would be considered in compliance with the order if some children were not reunited with their parents by the deadline because their relationship could not be quickly confirmed. He said the agency is also attempting to verify that parents do not have a background that make them inappropriate caretakers. "You've taken the child from the parent".

The immigrant families are now entered in federal computers as separate individuals, and federal employees are reviewing thousands of immigrant children's cases by hand.

In his ruling, Sabraw called the separations "chaotic".

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