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Trump admin releases names of children under 5 separated at border

Trump admin releases names of children under 5 separated at border

More than 2000 children were separated from their parents by US immigration authorities at the border this spring before US President Donald Trump reversed course on June 20 amid an worldwide outcry.

Nine have parents who were removed already from the US.

Government attorneys returned to federal court in San Diego on Tuesday to seek an extension for releasing 20 other children under 5, saying officials need more time to track down parents who have already been deported or released into the U.S.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing the parents in a class-action lawsuit, said USA officials "have not even tried" to return 12 children to parents who were deported, and said officials should have more quickly found eight parents who have been released in the United States.

The ACLU said late Sunday the administration provided it with a list of 102 children under 5 years old and that "appears likely that less than half will be reunited" by Tuesday's deadline. "I'm optimistic that many of these families will be reunited tomorrow, and that we'll have a very clear understanding as to who has not been reunited, why not, and what timeframe will be in place". In the courtroom, they expressed openness to collaborating on several issues, including searching for parents who have been removed from the USA and double-checking the criminal records.

More than 2,000 children in all were separated from their parents by USA immigration authorities at the border this spring before President Donald Trump reversed course on June 20 amid an worldwide outcry and said families should remain together.

It was the first time the government indicated whether the parents and children would be released or detained together. They also note that DNA swabs are being utilized in order to quickly place the minors. Last week, US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said there were "under 3000" separated children in all.

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"There's no question that the parties are meeting and conferring", she said. He asked attorneys for the government and the ACLU to file court papers by Monday night outlining their proposed reunification plans, with the ACLU calling for a more expedited process. The families will be released after they are reunited.

Meekins said at least 14 children will not be reunited with those claiming to be parents, eight of whom failed criminal background checks, five of whom were determined not to be parents and one of whom is the subject of a claim of child abuse deemed to be credible.

For the other parents, I think there just hasn't been enough of an effort made to locate the parent.

Parents were taken into criminal custody and then held in immigration detention centers, deported or released in the United States. Fabian said another 12 have parents in state or federal prison.

Federal officials said they are reunifying as many children as they can and attributed delays to "legitimate logistical impediments" that make it "impossible or excusable" to meet the court's deadlines.

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

Lee Gelernt, the ACLU lawyer handling the case, said the government is taking the reunification demands seriously, though he said he thinks the government can do better than the 54.