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Mon Jul 9, 2018, 03:55 PM


Update on the reunification of refugee children with their parents.

Under the administration policy implemented in May, adults who otherwise might have been directed into civil deportation proceedings were instead criminally prosecuted for entering the country illegally. Children were removed from these parents and placed in shelters across the country, sometimes thousands of miles from where the parent was detained.

President Trump issued an executive order ending the separations amid mounting political pressure and public outrage. The administration has committed to reuniting migrant children and their families, but stringent vetting, including home visits and the fingerprinting of every member of a household where a child will be residing, have slowed the process down.

The A.C.L.U. and immigrant advocates say the exhaustive screening is meant for unaccompanied minors, typically teenagers, who enter the country alone — not for children who were brought into the country by their parents and then taken away by immigration authorities — who presumably should already be aware of their family connections.

A lawyer for the Justice Department told the court Friday that 19 parents of children who are under the age of 5 have been deported. In the case of 19 others, the parents have been released and their whereabouts is unknown, she said. She indicated that the government needed more time to reunify all the families.



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