Trump administration says it has reunited all eligible young children with families

Less Than Half of The Separated Immigrant Toddlers Will be Reunited By Tomorrow's Deadline

Meanwhile, government lawyers told a federal judge the Trump administration would not meet the deadline for 20 other children under five because it needed more time to track down parents who have already been deported or released into the US.

Meanwhile, the administration faces a second, bigger deadline - July 26 - to reunite thousands of older children who were also separated from their families at the border in the past few months.

Sarah Fabian told Judge Dana M. Sabraw on Monday that the DOJ, with help from the American Civil Liberties Union, had thus far only reunited two of the children in question with their parents, but that it could reunite as many as 54 more by Tuesday.

"These are firm deadlines".

In a call with reporters, DHS's Matthew Albence said the 12 adults who have already been deported had an opportunity to take their children with them, but declined. Seven were not determined to be a parent, one had a false birth certificate, one had allegedly abused the child.

Soon after the policy was announced, images of children in cages and audio of toddlers crying as they were separated from their parents sparked widespread public outrage, including from the Republican Party and Christian conservatives. They will be set free in the USA pending the outcome of their immigration cases, which can take several years.

The government said the 46 young children who had not been reunified were ineligible for several reasons, including health issues or because their parents had "serious" criminal histories, were in custody or had been deported.

PHOENIX- The federal government fell well short of the first deadline to reunify young migrant children with their families.

Thursday, Chris Meekins, a senior HHS official, said any delay in reunifying children was necessary to ensure they weren't being handed over to human smugglers posing as parents, or parents who pose a danger. In order to gain custody of an unaccompanied minor in the care of the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement, adults typically have to undergo a comprehensive vetting process that involves everything from submitting fingerprints to demonstrating financial stability.

A mother and son from Guatemala hold hands during a news conference June 22, 2018, following their reunion in Linthicum, Md., after being separated at the US border. He also set July 26 as the deadline to reunite almost 3,000 children over age 5.

The Department of Justice asked Gee to alter a 1997 settlement, which provides the framework for how to handle detained immigrant children, so it could detain families together for longer periods.

Last December, the Trump administration quietly reversed an Obama-era directive that prevented Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers from detaining pregnant women except in extreme cases, altering the policy to prevent holding only women in their third trimester.

Now, one day before a Tuesday deadline, the administration says authorities expect to return just over half of the kids - but that they will need more time to figure out the rest. But the Trump administration has similarly struggled with deterring waves of migrants from Central and South America - and, once they enter the country, processing them through the legal system humanely.

Gelernt told the NewsHour on Tuesday that the ACLU hopes "that now the government has figured out some basic process for doing these reunifications". The father said he was still shaken by the ordeal he had to go through just to speak to his boy while he was in government custody. The administration said Tuesday that it had completed 38 of those reunions, including the four done previously. He beamed while his son asked questions and played with toys when they were reunited at a federal immigration office in MI on Tuesday. Under the approach, parents and other caregivers apprehended after traversing the border were arrested and jailed, and the government placed their children with HHS.

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