• STV
  • MySTV

US will reunite and release over 50 immigrant children

The children will be joined with their parents at locations across the country.

Some families will be reunited following their separation at the US border
Some families will be reunited following their separation at the US border AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File

More than 50 immigrant children under five will be reunited with their parents by Tuesday's court-ordered deadline for action by Trump administration, a US government lawyer has said.

The families will be released after they are reunited. That is only about half of the 100 or so infants and toddlers covered by the order.

At a court hearing, Justice Department lawyer Sarah Fabian acknowledged the government would not meet the deadline for all the children, citing a variety of reasons, including that the parents of some of the youngsters have already been deported.

More than 50 immigrant children under five will be reunited with their parents
More than 50 immigrant children under five will be reunited with their parents AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File

Ms Fabian said that 54 children will be joined with their parents by the end of Tuesday at locations across the country and that an additional five were undergoing final background checks.

It was the first time the government indicated whether the parents and children would be released or detained together. They will be set free in the US pending the outcome of their immigration cases, which can take several years.

Ms Fabian did not say why they were being released, but US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has little space to hold families.

ICE has three family detention centres with room for about 3,000 people in all, and the places are already at or near capacity. The Trump administration is trying to line up thousands more beds at military bases.

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawyer Lee Gelernt told reporters he was "both pleased and disappointed" with the government's progress toward meeting the deadline.

ACLU lawyer Lee Gelernt said he was both pleased and disappointed with the government
ACLU lawyer Lee Gelernt said he was both pleased and disappointed with the government AP Photo/ Elliot Spagat

"Tomorrow there will hopefully be more than 50 babies and toddlers reunited with their parents, and that is obviously an enormous victory," he said.

But he said those who remain split from their parents are "in for a long process".

US District Judge Dana Sabraw ordered both sides back in court on Tuesday to give another update and for him rule on differences over protocols to follow when reuniting children.

The two sides revealed in a filing late on Monday that they are far apart on protocols for reunification, with the government arguing its practices are necessary under federal law to ensure child safety and the ACLU contending that many are too cumbersome under the circumstances.

One area of disagreement is DNA testing on parents and children, with the government saying it should be the general rule and the ACLU saying it should be done only when no other evidence is available to prove parentage.

Other areas of disagreement include whether fingerprint checks should be run on other adult members of the household and parent participation a legal orientation program should be required before release.

More than 2,000 children in all were separated from their parents by US immigration authorities at the border this spring before President Donald Trump reversed course on June 20 amid an international outcry and said families should remain together.

Late last month, Mr Sabraw, an appointee of Republican President George W Bush, set a 14-day deadline to reunite children under five with their parents and a 30-day deadline for older children. The 30-day deadline is up July 26.

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.

Ms Fabian did not disclose where the reunions would take place.

As for most of the rest of the under-five children who have yet to reunited with their families, Ms Fabian said that their parents have already been released into the US, have been deported, or are behind bars on criminal charges.

One child has not been matched with a parent, Ms Fabian said. The ACLU identified him as a three-year-old boy.

The hearing followed a feverish weekend of talks between the administration and the ACLU after the judge refused on Friday to grant a blanket extension to the deadline, saying instead that he would only consider certain exceptions.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on it's website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.