Trump forced to reinstate 'catch and release' after court defeats


In response, on June 20, Trump issued an executive order that said migrant children could no longer be separated from their adult relatives.

That included 11 who had criminal records - either charges or convictions - seven who were not the parent but could have been a different relative, one who had a false birth certificate, another accused of child abuse, another who wanted to live in a home with an adult with a criminal history, 12 who were already deported, 11 who are now in state or federal criminal custody, one who cannot be found and one with a contagious disease.

An additional 24 children were declared not eligible because of various circumstances of the adults - 12 have been deported, nine are in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, two are in the custody of state jails and the location of one has been unknown for over a year.

"Parents of children under the age of five are being reunified with their children, then released and enrolled into an alternative to detention (ATD) program, meaning they will be placed on an ankle monitor and released into the community", said Matthew Albence, a senior official with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

"Of course, there remains a tremendous amount of hard work and similar obstacles facing our teams in reuniting the remaining families", the officials said.

On Monday (Tuesday NZT), a federal judge in Los Angeles rejected the Trump administration's efforts to detain immigrant families in long-term facilities, calling it a "cynical attempt to undo a longstanding court settlement".

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.

US District Judge Dolly Gee said the government had failed to present new evidence to support revising a court order that limits the detention of children who crossed the border illegally. They declined to say whether they would similarly release the parents of the much larger group of 2,000 to 3,000 children ages 5 to 17. It now appears as if the Trump administration will clearly miss this deadline by a wide margin. Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project, said the organization would decide Thursday "what remedies to recommend to the court for the non-compliance". They may be reunited with children once they are located and contacted. "There was no reunification plan in place, and families have been separated for months".

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Are families seeking asylum at ports of entries also separated?

Chris Meekins, a senior official in the Department of Health and Human Services, pointed to safety concerns to explain the delay and insisted that the reunifications could not be rushed.

A civil rights group asked a federal judge on Thursday to order the USA government to provide mental health counseling for the around 2,000 immigrant children separated from their parents by officials at the U.S.

In Tuesday's filing, administration lawyers stated that a remaining 27 children were not eligible for reunification with a parent and were therefore not subject to the court-mandated reunification deadline.

This included not completing DNA tests and background checks on other adults living in the same households as parents in some cases, the administration said in the court filing. Our agencies' careful vetting procedures helped prevent the reunification of children with an alleged murderer, an adult convicted of child cruelty, and adults determined not to be the parent of the child.

The zero-tolerance policy required their separation after they attempted to cross illegally over the U.S. -Mexico border. A federal judge ordered that children under five be reunified just over two weeks ago (i.e., two weeks plus the two days over deadline).

The reunification process has highlighted how traumatic the Trump administration's decision to separate children has been.

Orihuela said that the government knows where both J.S.R. and V.F.B. are and knows where their parents are being held. "They've missed the deadline and must be held accountable".