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United States says all eligible young migrant children reunited with parents

United States says all eligible young migrant children reunited with parents

The government has until 3pm PDT (2200 GMT) on Thursday to explain to US Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego how many children still must be reunited with their parents and to inform him if it met Tuesday's deadline for reuniting children under five.

A day after dozens of parents were reunited with children who had been separated at the U.S. -Mexico border by immigration officials, the U.S. government faces a looming deadline to match another roughly 2,000 children with parents.

As of midday on Tuesday, the government had reunited four children under the age of five with their parents, but said in court documents it might be able to reunite as many as 51 more that day.

"These are firm deadlines, not aspirational goals".

At a court hearing, Justice Department lawyer Sarah Fabian acknowledged the government wouldn't meet the deadline for all the children, citing a variety of reasons, including that the parents of some of the youngsters have already been deported. Physicians and others blasted the policy and warned about lasting psychological damage to children and parents.

Without separations, or family detention, the government has few options besides allowing families to pursue their immigration claims "at liberty" as prior administrations had generally done.

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The child 'cannot be reunified at this time because the parent's location has been unknown for more than a year, ' the Justice Department said, adding that 'records show the parent and child might be USA citizens'. They will be set free in the U.S. pending the outcome of their immigration cases, which can take several years.

The chaotic process of attempting to match children with their parents has revealed the haphazardness of the administration's overarching policy.

The ACLU's Gelernt said the government is not even close to reuniting all the children under 5 with their parents, including 12 adults who were deported without their children.

The Donald Trump administration has faced domestic and worldwide outcry over its announced "zero tolerance" policy of arresting all those who cross the border illegally and separating parents from the children they brought with them.

Last week, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said there were "under 3,000" separated children in all.

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. "And so the government says the tension is between a fast release and a safe release".

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Children under five will be reunited with their parents.

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.

'Judges run the system and illegals and traffickers know how it works.

Javier, a 30-year old from Honduras, holds his 4-year old son William during a media availability in NY after they were reunited after being separated for 55 days following their detention at the Texas border, U.S., July 11, 2018.

The Department of Justice asked Gee to alter a 1997 settlement, which provides the framework for how to handle detained immigrant children, so it could detain families together for longer periods. The father held up his wrist and told reporters that after they were separated, he threatened to use a razor on himself if he couldn't speak to his son. A longtime court settlement says children who cross the border illegally can not be detained for more than 20 days.

"Our staff came in early, made sure every backpack was full and every child got a hug and a goodbye", Juan Sánchez, the non-profit group's president and chief executive, said in a statement.

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"Everyone here wants the children to be reunited with their families", activist Jonathan Gonzalez Cruz said.