Muslim Times(Web Desk) – The Trump administration has missed its deadline set for reuniting dozens of migrant children under the age of five with their parents.
A federal judge said Tuesday he was sticking to the deadlines he set last month for reuniting all those 98 immigrant children and their parents from whom they were separated at the southern border.
The Justice Department said in court filings Tuesday that the government is currently rejoining 51 small children with their parents, almost half of the total.
The parents of these 51 children are in immigration detention, the department said, noting they have been judged safe and fit to receive their children.
The government gave some reasons as to why the others cannot be reunited. It said that twelve parents had already been deported, eight parents had been released into the US, eight parents had criminal histories, five adults were proven not to be the parent of the child, and 10 parents were in state or federal criminal custody.
However, a federal judge gave the administration more time for the process of finding and vetting the parents, which is proving complicated.
“Everyone is rowing in the same direction,” Judge Dana Sabraw said in his San Diego courtroom.
He, nonetheless, said “the families were improperly separated” during President Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy.
Sabraw also called on the American Civil Liberties Union to file papers, suggesting remedies if the government had not reunited the 63 children by Tuesday “or within immediate proximity of today.”
Washington has reportedly asked Sabraw to extend the deadlines because it needed time to test DNA to confirm family relationships, run background checks, locate parents who were released from custody and review parental fitness.