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US moves to unite migrant children with parents by deadline

US moves to unite migrant children with parents by deadline

Government attorneys, meanwhile, told a federal judge in San Diego that the Trump administration would not meet the deadline for 20 other children under 5 because it needed more time to track down parents who have already been deported or released into the U.S.

"The court does appear to acknowledge that parents who cross the border will not be released and must choose between remaining in family custody with their children pending immigration proceedings or requesting separation from their children so the child may be placed with a sponsor", O'Malley said.

"Let me be clear: HHS could have transferred every child out of our care to a parent who is now in DHS custody today if we did not take into account child safety or whether the adult is actually the parent", Chris Meekins of Health and Human Services Department said in the call.

Speaking outside the White House before flying to Europe, Trump said: "Well, I have a solution".

On Tuesday, with the court-mandated deadline looming, the government responded.

Under-5 children who will remain separated for now include parents have already been released into the United States, have been deported, or are behind bars on criminal charges.

The court ordered separated children older than age 5 be reunited with their parents by July 26.

The Trump administration may start separating families again if parents in detention don't agree to waive their children's right to release, the government suggested on Tuesday.

The administration faces a second, bigger deadline - July 26 - to reunite perhaps 2,000 or so older children who were also separated from their families at the border in the past few months. The Legal Aid Society in NY said it is representing at least two separated children under five years old that meet the judge's criteria for reunification on Tuesday.

One child has not been matched with a parent, Fabian said. They come amid a tide of national and worldwide outrage over such young children being taken from their parents.

Justice Department attorney Sarah Fabian said the reunifications Tuesday will occur in undisclosed locations administered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which has custody of the detained parents. Many of those who had left the country without their child, they claimed, had done so because leaving the child in the United States had been their intended goal.

Despite the delays, Sabraw reportedly said he had seen "real progress and I'm optimistic that many of these families will be reunited tomorrow, and then we'll have a very clear understanding as to who has not been reunited, why not, and what time-frame will be in place". The first is to return to the Obama administration policy of releasing and monitoring families while they await deportation proceedings. "They want to punish these families who are here and deter others from coming".

The hearing only covered the roughly 100 children under the age of 5 who were separated from their parents under the administration's "zero tolerance" border prosecution policy.

The government has reportedly struggled to offer exact information about the number of children separated from their parents.

In this June 25 photo, a mother migrating from Honduras holds her 1-year-old child while surrendering to U.S. Border Patrol agents after illegally crossing the border, near McAllen, Texas. "We provide [detained pregnant women] with prenatal care, we provide them separate housing, we provide them specialists, we will take them to appointments if they need to go somewhere else, we provide them counseling", said Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in May.


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