Migrant Children to Be Reunited With Parents in Secretive Operation

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

Trump admin releases names of children under 5 separated at border

Roughly half of the children under 5 years old who were separated from their parents at the border will be back with their moms and dads by a court-imposed deadline Tuesday, but the Trump administration is still not sure when the rest will be reunified.

Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the lawsuit, said activists have turned up as many as 10 more names that need to added to the number of separated kids still in detention.

"This is real progress and I'm optimistic that many of these families will be reunited tomorrow and we'll have a very clear understanding as to who has not been reunited, why not, and a time frame in place", he said. He also said that advocates were aware of at least 10 additional young children who had been separated from their parents, above the 102 reported by the government, and that they continued to investigate.

Jennye Mariel Pagoada Lopez, 24, said one night she got so sick that a fellow detainee was forced to scream and wave at a security camera to get her help - but the officials who arrived still refused to get her to a doctor, despite her heavy bleeding.

The government announced last week that it would be using DNA testing to expedite confirmation of familial ties between adults coming forward to claim children, given that several agencies had been involved in the separation of families and that databases were not complete.

In the meantime, many of these children have had to face their immigration proceedings without their parents in court. Thirty children will not be reunited by Tuesday, for a range of reasons.

At the hearing in San Diego, Judge Dana Sabraw gave the authorities extra time to determine which children will be back with their parents, as government lawyer Sarah Fabian said 54 of the youngsters could be returned to their parents by the Tuesday deadline, the USA media reports said. As noted above, we do not know exactly how many children were separated from their families or how many have rejoined 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.

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Nine have parents who were removed already from the US.

She said the government was still working to do background checks and confirm the relationships between the adults and children in its custody. But the government has worked to keep the locations of these facilities secret under a federal protective order, citing without evidence concerns about "smugglers and traffickers" targeting the children.

In particularly, he said, parents who've already been released into the US and disappeared could be found.

A lawyer for the ACLU, Lee Gelernt, said 12 parents had been deported, according to the organization's research.

He said the ACLU instead wanted a detailed explanation of when all families will be reunited. As for the rest, she claimed, three were brought by someone who is not their biological parent, three have parents with serious criminal records that bar reunification, five have parents with something on their record that requires further investigation, 12 have parents either in local or federal criminal detention who must serve time before being transferred to ICE, 18 have parents who were lost by the administration after their deportation or release into the USA, and four have been approved for release to a non-parent sponsor.

And if they continue to drag on, what would you ask the judge to do in that instance?

At a court hearing, Justice Department lawyer Sarah Fabian acknowledged the Trump administration won't meet the deadline for all the youngsters.

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