Judge Says US Must Reunite Migrant Families Or Face Penalties

Trump admin releases names of children under 5 separated at border

Judge Dana Sabraw in U.S. District Court in San Diego told government attorneys he would not extend deadlines he set two weeks ago for the Trump administration to reunite the children under five with their parents by Tuesday and 2,000 other children by July 26.

After public outcry and a court challenge, Trump stopped separating families last month.

Dozens of immigrant children under the age of 5 will be released from government custody and reunited with their parents Tuesday after being separated at the border under President Donald Trump's zero-tolerance immigration policy.

Numerous separated children are fleeing violence in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, and US Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen met with diplomats from those countries in Guatemala on Tuesday to discuss USA immigration policies. "This is 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".

Immigration agents and US officials Mejia's son more than 1,000 miles north to MI, where he was placed in the care of Bethany Christian Services, a foster care agency based in Grand Rapids.

Trump, who took his hardline policy on immigration to the White House from the 2016 election campaign, was dismissive of reporters' questions about the missed deadline.

The parents will be free while their cases wind through immigration court, and they're expected to be required to wear ankle monitors.

"Tell people not to come to our country illegally", he said.

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Thousands of babies, toddlers and older children were separated from their parents at the border this spring before Trump reversed course on June 20 amid an worldwide outcry over the images of youngsters in chain-link cages and audio recordings of children crying.

The San Diego Judge said he was sticking with deadlines he set last month.

Numerous immigrants are fleeing violence in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

Today, Sabraw showed little appetite for giving more time to the government unless it could show good reasons in specific cases. Driving the point home, Iliana Holguin of the Annunciation House said, "The government wants the parents to foot the bill for the DNA testing when they're the ones that caused the need for DNA testing".

"These are firm deadlines, not aspirational goals". While parents are held in jail to await trial by a judge, children are moved into accommodation managed by an HHS agency.

But they said the rest would be delayed, some because the parents were still in legal custody, others because the parents were found to have serious criminal records, and still others because the parents had already been deported. They said an additional 17 could also join their parents if DNA results arrived and a criminal background check on a parent was completed by day's end.

"Reunifications are ongoing throughout the day", said Chris Meekins, a senior official of the Department of Health and Human Services.

In ordering an end to the separation of families, the president said they should instead be detained together. A longtime court settlement says children who cross the border illegally can not be detained for more than 20 days.

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