US says it will release, reunite 50 immigrant children

US says it will release, reunite 50 immigrant children

US says it will release, reunite 50 immigrant children

"It's deplorable they are using the guise of reuniting children to collect even more sensitive data about very young children".

In a hearing on Monday, the Department of Justice told Judge Dana Sabraw that it expects to reunite another 54 children by tomorrow's 10pm deadline, which would leave approximately46 children separated.

The process includes taking DNA cheek swabs from parents and children to verify their familial relationship, as well as checking parents for any criminal history that might make them unfit to care for their children. "To my knowledge we do not have any information".

The American Civil Liberties Union received the list of the names of the almost 100 children under the age of 5 who were separated from their parents at the border, according to a group spokesman.

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".

On Friday, Fabian said in court that 19 children under age 5 in government custody had a parent who was already deported.

Children in custody and their parents are also undergoing DNA cheek swabs, which will take about a week to confirm a match, the US said.

The ACLU reiterated its offer to help the administration track down both sets of parents.

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. The ACLU and government are now working together to reunite the families.

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But the process that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has put into place to match up family members will take some time if it is to comply with existing law meant to protect children from human trafficking, the DOJ argues.

The officials said the records weren't deleted deliberately to hide the family ties, but because the customs agents thought it was more logical to track cases separately rather than as a family unit.

Parents already released into the US should be reunited with their children within 48 hours of the government contacting them, or within a week for parents already deported, he suggested.

Deadlines are looming; the government has less than a month to reunite the families it separated.

If DNA testing is inconclusive, officials said in a court filing, they won't be able to confirm a child's parentage by the deadline.

Once these families are reunified, it's not clear where ICE can legally - or feasibly - detain them.

Sabraw denied a DoJ request for a blanket extension on Friday, but appears likely to grant short extensions for all the yet-to-be reunited children tomorrow when the ACLU and government return to court.

"The kid and parent are going to walk out into the United States with no money, nowhere to stay", he said.

Judge Sabraw said that that information should be shareable with trusted groups under the protective order he had already approved. Government officials had to work overtime to determine which children it took from which parents, and as of last week, they were unsure of the exact number that needed to be reunited.

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