US must convince judge it has reunited migrants under five

AUSTIN TX- JUNE 30 A demonstrator uses baby clothes to spell out the word

The American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the lawsuit that led to Sabraw's court order, said on Wednesday it did now know if the government had met the deadline for the youngest children. They will be set free in the U.S. pending the outcome of their immigration cases, which can take several years.

The ACLU said the government hasn't even reached out to 12 parents who were already deported while their kids were in US custody, leaving those children stranded.

Two weeks ago, U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego issued an order to the Trump Administration to reunite the thousands of immigrant children separated from their parents.

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.

The ACLU's Gelernt said during a court hearing on Friday that it was "startling" that the government can not find some parents.

"I've asked the government for numbers and they should have told me by now", he told Reuters. But the government does not have the room: ICE has three family detention centers with space for 3,000 people, and they are already at or near capacity, though the Trump administration is trying to line up space at military bases.

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 US citizens'.

Migrants with children who are apprehended in the United States are now given a notice to appear in court and being told, "Welcome to America", according to another senior Department of Homeland Security official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to be identified by name. On June 27, she finally made contact with her children and has been given weekly visitation rights. "They're not aspirational goals", the judge said.

U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday to blame the Democratic Party, among others, for not fixing immigration.

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Other areas of disagreement include whether fingerprint checks should be run on other adult members of the household and parent participation a legal orientation program should be required before release.

DOJ spokesman Devin O'Malley similarly suggested that the administration may keep parents in detention rather than releasing them with their children in a statement on Monday's Flores ruling.

Gelernt added that the child never should have landed in the custody of immigration officials.

The other boy, a Honduran, would remain with a foster family while the father remained in government custody, although it was not clear to her why.

"Our clients still have not been reunified!" said Beth Krause, an attorney with Legal Aid Society's Immigrant Youth Project, in an email to Reuters.

"I thought that they were going to take my daughter away there", she said. With key deadlines looming, the government says it's doing everything it can but in some cases will need more time than the court has given them.

Rights advocates have blamed the US government's poor technology for difficulties tracking children across multiple government agencies involved in their detention and care.

Abril Valdez of the ACLU of MI said the government was "vague" on the time and place of the reunifications that could come on Tuesday (Wednesday NZT) for two Honduran men he represents.

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