The Trump Presidency: Migrant children to be reunited with families

Friday, 13 Jul, 2018

"Our process may not be as quick as some might like, but there is no question that it is protecting children", Meekins, chief of staff of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, said in a conference call with reporters. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has predicted the tough immigration stance will discourage people from illegally entering the country. "Apply lawfully and wait your turn", the officials said. "I am optimistic that many of these families will be reunited by tomorrow and we will have a clear understanding of who has been reunited and the reasons for not reuniting others". "We will be recommending remedies for the non-compliance". A hearing is scheduled Friday morning.

The Justice Department told Sabraw on Tuesday officials had found that some parents were unfit for reunification because they had criminal histories, some had already been deported and still others had not yet been located. He declined to provide details about every case, but said one adult was convicted of child cruelty and narcotics charges.

Two adults are in custody of state jails for "other offenses".

Thursday's statement from federal agencies said that 12 adults had been deported and "are being contacted". "It's this administration separating children from their families".

Many other children who should be reunited with their families are still in detention or foster homes as their parents can't afford the often more than $1,000 plane tickets, either to other parts of the USA or back to their home countries. "Establishing the immigration system demanded of our political leaders by the American people for more than 30 years - one that serves the national interest - will allow our nation to further realize the foundation of freedom, safety, and prosperity we inherited from our founders". An update on that case was not immediately available Thursday.

Trump has for years railed against catch and release, blaming it for crimes and violence committed by unauthorized immigrants during the administration of President Barack Obama.

Gelernt told the judge in recent hearings he was concerned that some parents may have opted to leave the United States, believing that was the only way they could be reunited with their children.

A court-imposed deadline to reunite immigrant children under five with their parents by July 10th will likely not be met.

HHS and DHS are working to make arrangements for those children ages 5 to 17, officials said. Before the parent-child separations became widespread, the government operated three family detention centers with bed space of about 3,300. Many carried proof of their relationship, including birth certificates and photographs.

Government officials touted the screening process for parents, including background checks and DNA tests.

Vanessa Suarez, an organizer of the rally, said the children in CT and across the nation deserve better treatment from the government. But he said those who remain split from their parents are "in for a long process". The first group, children under 5 years old, were supposed to be reunited with their parents by Tuesday.

More than 2,000 children over the age of 5 remain separated from their parents.

The first deadline has come and gone, and it was one the federal government could not fully meet. "They're not aspirational goals", the judge said Tuesday.

"When they release the parent they just don't walk out the door with no record", Gelernt said. Customs and Border Patrol also stopped referring all parents from criminal prosecution, essentially returning the situation at the border to the previous status quo.

The Annunciation House shelter in El Paso, Texas, was assisting four parents of children under 5 after their release from immigration detention, none of whom had reunited with their children as of Monday evening (Tuesday NZT), said Taylor Levy, legal coordinator. Albence said an adult who previously said he did not want to be reunited with his child had changed his mind.