Majority of migrant toddlers reunified with parents, Trump admin says

Majority of migrant toddlers reunified with parents, Trump admin says

Majority of migrant toddlers reunified with parents, Trump admin says

"It's extremely disappointing that the Trump administration looks like it will fail to reunite even half the children under 5 with their parents".

Government officials told reporters that 46 children were not returned to their parents for legitimate reasons already recognized by the court, including 22 children who face "safety concerns" posed by the adults with whom they had been traveling.

The administration defended its screening, saying it discovered parents with serious criminal histories, five adults whose DNA tests showed they were not parents of the children they claimed to have, and one case of credible child abuse. Health and Human Services manages their care inside the U.S. Homeland Security has control over adults in immigration detention, and the Justice Department manages the immigration courts. "Of course, there remains a tremendous amount of hard work and similar obstacles facing our teams in reuniting the remaining families".

The number is far less than the 54 the administration had suggested just a day earlier, and it underscores the government's continued struggles to clean up after President Trump's zero tolerance policy collapsed amid legal and public relations problems.

United States officials have reunited 57 children under age five with their parents who crossed the border without authorization, but almost four dozen remain separated beyond a court-ordered deadline, the White House said Thursday.

The 30-day deadline is up July 26.

Among the other remaining question marks is whether authorities can streamline their vetting process for the migrant parents - which ACLU attorneys have described as needlessly cumbersome - and whether the government can pass along the locations migrant families will be released from custody, so that charity groups can more quickly offer them support.

The administration missed a Tuesday deadline to complete the reunifications for children under 5 whom it separated. Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project, said the organization would decide Thursday "what remedies to recommend to the court for the non-compliance".

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

Officials have considered using military installations to hold detained parents and children, because the three existing family detention centers are mostly full.

The separations - which also involve somewhere under 3,000 older children - have sparked global outrage and considerable confusion.

Rodriguez said the commander running the shelter at Tornillo told him that none of the children there would be housed at Fort Bliss, one of two Texas military bases that the Pentagon has said will likely house thousands of immigrants who have been apprehended at the border. "We know they missed the deadline". "Plaintiffs have also not been able to determine whether any criminal convictions those parents have render them a danger to their children-and therefore not entitled to reunification at all-or merely not Class Members".

Although the new filing details the latest reunification numbers of children younger than 5, it did not provide a total of how many kids older than 5 the government believes to be in custody.

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. The zero-tolerance policy required adults to be sent to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. The children were "absolutely thrilled to be with their parents again". Leon Fresco, a former senior Justice Department immigration lawyer, said putting ankle bracelets on migrants is a return to what the Trump administration itself has described as catch and release; ending its practice was a top priority of the labour union that represents Border Patrol agents and endorsed Trump's candidacy.

Seven adults were determined not to be the child's parent and 12 parents had already been deported.

The announcement comes two days after a court-ordered deadline to return the youngest of the children.

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