Majority of migrant toddlers reunified with parents, Trump admin says


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The government missed a federal judge's initial deadline of Tuesday to have all children under 5 reunited with parents.

Last week, the administration requested an extension on the reunification process for those children under the age of 5, stating in a separate hearing Monday that it had only reunited two of them with their parents and would not be able to meet the court-imposed deadline for the rest.

Of the almost 3,000 migrant minors who were separated from their parents and placed in federal custody, the Trump administration says at least 102 are under 5 years old.

US District Judge Dolly Gee said the government had failed to present new evidence to support revising a court order that limits the detention of children who crossed the border illegally. A few months after announcing that his administration would undertake a "zero tolerance" policy that took children from their parents, Trump was forced to back away from the policy after drawing worldwide outrage. One more was added since Tuesday because the parent who had originally declined reunification "changed his mind", Immigration and Customs Enforcement official Matthew Albence said on a call with reporters.

If the children under five are not back with their parents by Thursday, Sabraw has asked the ACLU to suggest penalties he could levy against the government. Some of the parents haven't cleared background checks, or they have criminal records, or have been deported without their children. The child is now in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement. Carrying banners, and in many cases surrounded by their own children, members of Unidad Latina en Accion, Connecticut Students for a Dream and other groups decried family separations at the border. The children's parents appeared in court through a video chat from a detention facility in Pearsall, Texas.

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.

These include seven adults who were found not to be the child's parent, one adult who was alleged to have abused the child, one adult who was allegedly planning to house the child with a suspected child sex offender, and 11 adults who have a serious criminal history such as kidnapping, murder, or domestic violence.

The administration missed a Tuesday deadline to complete the reunifications for children under 5 whom it separated.

The three fathers were "just holding them and hugging them and telling them that everything was fine and that they were never going to be separated again", immigration lawyer Abril Valdes said.

The US government has said around 2,300 children were separated from their parents at the border under the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy on illegal immigration, which was abandoned in June after intense protests.

1 child can not be reunified at this time because the parent's location has been unknown for more than a year.

A federal judge gave the government until July 10 to reunify the 102 migrant kids under the age of 5 with their families.The judge ordered all migrant kids to be reunified by July 26. They could potentially argue that the USA government violated their constitutional rights.

Nine adults are in custody of U.S. Marshals Service for "other offenses". Advocates for parents have complained that several of them may not have fully understood the paperwork they were signing when they agreed to their solo deportation.

Sabraw, appointed in 2003 by President George W. Bush, had ordered officials to provide an update on their progress on Thursday and scheduled a hearing Friday afternoon to discuss the deadlines and other issues.