Fewer than half of kids reunited with families

463 parents separated from children may have been deported without them, a court filing says.

  • By Kate Morrissey The San Diego Union-Tribune (TNS)
  • Tuesday, July 24, 2018 7:15pm
  • Nation-World

By Kate Morrissey / The San Diego Union-Tribune

SAN DIEGO — With two days to go before a court-imposed deadline, the federal government has reunited or otherwise resolved cases for fewer than half of the 2,551 children 5 and older separated from their parents at the border, according to a Monday court filing.

The Trump administration also said it believes 463 parents were deported while their children remained in the U.S., but that it is reviewing those cases.

The filing is the latest in a class-action lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union in February on behalf of families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border under the administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy.

Last month, U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw ordered the Trump administration to reunify families, starting with children younger than 5. Now the administration is trying to meet a Thursday deadline for older children.

The government reported 1,187 reunifications “or other appropriate discharges.” Those children were reunited with 879 parents who were still in immigration detention when the government was ordered to put the families back together, the filing said.

More than 500 parents have been “green-lighted,” the government said, and are waiting on transportation to be reunited with their children, many of whom were sent to facilities across the U.S.

The government reported that about 130 parents told immigration officials during interviews that they preferred their children stay in the U.S., often with other relatives.

The ACLU’s attorneys have been pushing the government for the names of those parents, and in Monday’s court filing called for the administration to give them an updated list.

“These parents urgently need consultations with lawyers, so that they do not mistakenly strand their children in the United States,” ACLU attorneys wrote in the court filing.

The government said in the filing that it would provide an updated list Tuesday. The ACLU attorneys asked the judge for an order to ensure that happens.

ACLU attorneys also want a list of deported parents. The Trump administration had agreed to provide the list by last Friday, but in Monday’s filing, government attorneys said they needed more time. “Some of this information is still under review,” the filing said.

The government said 64 parents didn’t qualify to be reunited with their children because they had significant criminal histories or were otherwise “deemed ineligible.”

The government first worked to meet a July 10 court deadline to reunite children younger than 5 with their parents, and now are trying to meet the Thursday deadline to return children in the 5-to-17 age group to their families.

Sabraw has repeatedly criticized the government’s lack of early planning for family reunification. On Friday, he praised the government’s progress toward the final deadline.

Last week, following an ACLU request, Sabraw temporarily suspended deportations of reunited families. The government plans to argue against that decision; Sabraw has scheduled a hearing for Tuesday afternoon.

Talk to us

More in Nation-World

FILE - Britain's Queen Elizabeth II looks on during a visit to officially open the new building at Thames Hospice, Maidenhead, England July 15, 2022. Buckingham Palace says Queen Elizabeth II is under medical supervision as doctors are “concerned for Her Majesty’s health.” The announcement comes a day after the 96-year-old monarch canceled a meeting of her Privy Council and was told to rest. (Kirsty O'Connor/Pool Photo via AP, File)
Queen Elizabeth II dead at 96 after 70 years on the throne

Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century died Thursday.

A woman reacts as she prepares to leave an area for relatives of the passengers aboard China Eastern's flight MU5735 at the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, Tuesday, March 22, 2022, in Guangzhou. No survivors have been found as rescuers on Tuesday searched the scattered wreckage of a China Eastern plane carrying 132 people that crashed a day earlier on a wooded mountainside in China's worst air disaster in more than a decade. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
No survivors found in crash of Boeing 737 in China

What caused the plane to drop out of the sky shortly before it was to being its descent remained a mystery.

In this photo taken by mobile phone released by Xinhua News Agency, a piece of wreckage of the China Eastern's flight MU5735 are seen after it crashed on the mountain in Tengxian County, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Monday, March 21, 2022. A China Eastern Boeing 737-800 with 132 people on board crashed in a remote mountainous area of southern China on Monday, officials said, setting off a forest fire visible from space in the country's worst air disaster in nearly a decade. (Xinhua via AP)
Boeing 737 crashes in southern China with 132 aboard

More than 15 hours after communication was lost with the plane, there was still no word of survivors.

In this photo taken from video provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks to the nation in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022. Street fighting broke out in Ukraine's second-largest city Sunday and Russian troops put increasing pressure on strategic ports in the country's south following a wave of attacks on airfields and fuel facilities elsewhere that appeared to mark a new phase of Russia's invasion. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)
Ukraine wants EU membership, but accession often takes years

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s request has enthusiastic support from several member states.

FILE - Ukrainian servicemen walk by fragments of a downed aircraft,  in in Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. The International Criminal Court's prosecutor has put combatants and their commanders on notice that he is monitoring Russia's invasion of Ukraine and has jurisdiction to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity. But, at the same time, Prosecutor Karim Khan acknowledges that he cannot investigate the crime of aggression. (AP Photo/Oleksandr Ratushniak, File)
ICC prosecutor to open probe into war crimes in Ukraine

U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet confirmed that 102 civilians have been killed.

FILE - Refugees fleeing conflict from neighboring Ukraine arrive to Zahony, Hungary, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022. As hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians seek refuge in neighboring countries, cradling children in one arm and clutching belongings in the other, leaders in Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Moldova and Romania are offering a hearty welcome. (AP Photo/Anna Szilagyi, File)
Europe welcomes Ukrainian refugees — others, less so

It is a stark difference from treatment given to migrants and refugees from the Middle East and Africa.

Afghan evacuees disembark the plane and board a bus after landing at Skopje International Airport, North Macedonia, on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021. North Macedonia has hosted another group of 44 Afghan evacuees on Wednesday where they will be sheltered temporarily till their transfer to final destinations. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)
‘They are safe here.’ Snohomish County welcomes hundreds of Afghans

The county’s welcoming center has been a hub of services and assistance for migrants fleeing Afghanistan since October.

FILE - In this April 15, 2019, file photo, a vendor makes change for a marijuana customer at a cannabis marketplace in Los Angeles. An unwelcome trend is emerging in California, as the nation's most populous state enters its fifth year of broad legal marijuana sales. Industry experts say a growing number of license holders are secretly operating in the illegal market — working both sides of the economy to make ends meet. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
In California pot market, a hazy line between legal and not

Industry insiders say the practice of working simultaneously in the legal and illicit markets is a financial reality.

19 dead, including 9 children, in NYC apartment fire

More than five dozen people were injured and 13 people were still in critical condition in the hospital.

15 dead after Russian skydiver plane crashes

The L-410, a Czech-made twin-engine turboprop, crashed near the town of Menzelinsk.

FILE - In this March 29, 2018, file photo, the logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square. Facebook prematurely turned off safeguards designed to thwart misinformation and rabble rousing after Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in the 2020 elections in a moneymaking move that a company whistleblower alleges contributed to the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, invasion of the U.S. Capitol. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram in hourslong worldwide outage

Something made the social media giant’s routes inaccessable to the rest of the internet.

Oil washed up on Huntington Beach, Calif., on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. A major oil spill off the coast of Southern California fouled popular beaches and killed wildlife while crews scrambled Sunday to contain the crude before it spread further into protected wetlands. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Crews race to limited damage from California oil spill

At least 126,000 gallons (572,807 liters) of oil spilled into the waters off Orange County.