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Trump administration says 57 children under 5 have been reunited with parents

Trump administration says 57 children under 5 have been reunited with parents

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The Trump administration was working on final background checks for another five children ahead of Tuesday's (Wednesday NZT) deadline.

The families are covered by an ACLU lawsuit, Ms. L vs. ICE, in which U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw ordered the government to reunite families that had been separated by Trump administration policy.

In a response to the government's filing, the American Civil Liberties Union, which had filed the lawsuit against the administration over separated migrant families, maintained that it does not believe the government fulfilled its obligation in time.

The US president has been under intense pressure to reunite almost 3,000 children with their families. Speaking outside the White House before flying to Europe, Trump said: "Well, I have a solution". Its explanation: "1 child can not be reunified at this time because the parent's location has been unknown for more than a year".

Sabraw agreed that not all 103 children could be reunited and that certain cases are too complicated to complete within his deadlines.

The other 46 children were determined not eligible for reunification.

Thursday's statement from federal agencies said that 12 adults had been deported and "are being contacted".

The families that have been reunited were also released from detention while they undergo immigration proceedings, which could ultimately lead to them being deported, so long as they do not commit crimes and do attend court hearings and meetings with immigration agents.

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Officials said they are searching for sponsors for children whose parents are ineligible to take custody of them, including another parent, relatives or a legal guardian in the United States.

It wasn't immediately clear how many children left detention facilities Tuesday or how many remain.

Monday's hearing set the stage for a dramatic day of reunifications on Tuesday across the country, though they are likely to occur largely outside public view. Physicians and others blasted the policy and warned about lasting psychological damage to children and parents. According to HHS, the screening has saved children from being put in potentially risky situations, including with adults have charges or convictions for child cruelty, kidnapping, murder, human smuggling, or domestic violence.

"Make no mistake about it: The government missed the deadline even for these 57 children", Gelernt said.

On the very night of the first reunification deadline, the Trump Administration announced that rather than being held in detention, migrant families would be released from custody wearing electronic monitors, essentially returning US border policy to the way it was before zero tolerance started.

The reunions are expected to be carried out in secret or secure locations, with parents taken from the detention centers where they have been held and children brought from federal shelters or foster homes.

In trying to meet the first deadline, the government began with a list of 102 children potentially eligible to be reunited and whittled that to 75 through screening that included DNA testing done by swabbing the inside of the cheek. "We provide [detained pregnant women] with prenatal care, we provide them separate housing, we provide them specialists, we will take them to appointments if they need to go somewhere else, we provide them counseling", said Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in May.

Ten of the children were ineligible for family reunification because their parent was in the "custody of U.S. Marshals Service" or "state or county custody". Critics said the administration failed to track the separated families, making it hard to reunite them.

Still, despite the frustrations and delays, Sabraw sounded a positive note, suggesting that he would be inclined to extend the July 10 deadline given the work that Fabian presented Monday.