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Trump Administration Seeks More Time To Reunify Migrant Families

Trump Administration Seeks More Time To Reunify Migrant Families

Justice Department attorney Sarah Fabian told U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw that officials would be able to reunite at least 54, and possibly up to 59, of the 102 named children by Tuesday, the Post reported.

The administration has matched 86 parents to 83 children and 16 are not yet matched, Fabian said.

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.

A list provided by the government suggests that fewer than half the migrant children younger than 5 years old who have been forcibly separated from their parents will be reunited with their families by Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said.

Trump has made fighting immigration - both illegal and legal - a central plank of his US-centered policy agenda, resulting in the "zero tolerance" immigration approach under which undocumented border crossers were being systematically prosecuted, and their children separated from them.

In about a dozen cases, the government was still trying to match a parent to a child.

DNA cheek swab tests on parent and child take almost a week to complete, said White, who called the risk of placing children with adults who aren't their parents "a real and significant child welfare concern". Others have left the country or were released, Fabian said.

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

HHS has further confirmed with the Department of Homeland Security that about 40 parents of children under 5 are in its custody and another nine are in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. Its database has some information about the children's parents but was not created to reunify families by the court's deadline.

"Any confusion is due to a broken immigration system and court orders", Azar said.

The government is using procedures from its process of reuniting unaccompanied minors, which the ACLU argues is not necessary because the children were not unaccompanied until the government separated them from their parents.

Reviews of children in the older age group are still ongoing.

In court records, the agencies said they were not prepared to track the separated parents and children, which delayed their efforts to reunite them. Associated Press/Jacquelyn Martin The lack of those identification numbers became a major issue after the children were placed in the custody of the Health and Human Services department and flown to shelters across the country.

The judge, who has yet to rule on the extension, said the government needed to provide a full list of those under five held in custody by Saturday afternoon, following which the original deadline would be re-evaluated. In a statement, an administration official said its priority was "to ensure the safety of the children in its custody". All three parents in the D.C. lawsuit have spoken with their children, but the Honduran man was only able to speak with his daughter for the first time in almost a month on Tuesday.

Four children were identified for release to a sponsor other than their mother or father, but the government and ACLU are working to determine whether the parent wants them to be reunited instead, the government attorney said.