The Trump Administration Misses First Court-Imposed Deadline to Reunite Migrant Families

On June 27th, 2018 a federal judge in California ruled that the U.S. government has a duty to reunite families that were separated at the U.S./Mexico border by the Trump Administration. More specifically, Judge Dana Sabraw gave the Administration 14 days to reunite all children under the age of 5 with their legal guardians.

In a July 9th court filing, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has made it clear that the Trump Administration will miss this first deadline. According to reporting from Vox, approximately two thirds of the separated children under the age of five will not be reunited by Tuesday, July 10th (the court-mandated deadline).

Where are the Children: The Latest Update From the DOJ

Many of these very young children were separated from their parents while their families were seeking asylum in the United States. It is important to remember that asylum is legal immigration. Migrants have a right to petition for asylum at the U.S. border crossing.

Yet, despite this fact, the Trump Administration still took the incredibly draconian step of separating these desperate families. It is now clear that the federal government was wholly unprepared to provide adequate care for the children who were taken from their parents. The latest court filing from the DOJ provides an update on the status of separated children who are under the age of 5. The information is highly disturbing.

  • 4 children were reunited with their families prior to July 9th;
  • 34 children are set to be reunited with their families on July 10th; and
  • 56 of the children will not be reunited by the deadline for various reasons.

The Government Has Already Deported Some Parents, and Cannot Identify at Least One Child

Of the 56 children who will not be reunited by the court deadline, some are scheduled to be reunited with their families in the coming days or weeks. However, tragically, the road to reunification will be much more challenging for other vulnerable children.

The DOJ says that the parents of 12 migrant children under the age of 5 have already been deported without their kids. It is unclear as to what action immigration officials will take to rectify that issue. In another case, a migrant child is not scheduled to be reunited because U.S. officials have not been able to identify the child’s parents. They are unsure if that child’s parent was already deported or not. This is a stark reminder that the humanitarian crisis at our border is far from over. It is crucial that continued political pressure is applied to support migrant families.

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At the Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, we are proud to offer the highest quality immigration law services to individuals and families in Southern California. Our legal team is committed to protecting the rights and interests of immigrants. If you or your family member needs immigration law guidance, please call our Los Angeles office today for a confidential consultation.