The Trump administration claimed victory on Thursday after reuniting only 57 out of the 103 children under 5 years old who were separated from their parents at the border as a result of Trump administration policy. (They may be an American citizen.) And one adult was ineligible for reunification because another adult in the same household had been found to have previously been charged with sexually abusing a child, when the government ran newly required background checks on everyone in the household.
A judge ordered the government last month to stop splitting up families at the border, which happened with increased frequency under a zero tolerance policy for illegal immigration enacted earlier this year.
Handout/Reuters Baby and toddler high chairs are seen at the Bristow facility, in this photo provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in Bristow, Virginia.
Critics said the administration failed to track the separated families, making it hard to reunite them.
On Monday, government officials were due back in court for a hearing after court filings showed that they had requested an extension to the July 10 deadline originally handed down for reuniting the children under 5 who had been forcibly separated from their parents while entering the country.
The Trump administration told a federal judge that just 38 of the original 102 young children it was supposed to reunify will definitely be released to family members by the Tuesday deadline.
"This is real progress, I'm optimistic that many of these families will be reunited tomorrow", he told the courtroom. With key deadlines looming, the government says it's doing everything it can but in some cases will need more time than the court has given them. Sabraw also gave the immigration authorities 14 days to reunite children under the age of 5 with their parents.
But almost half of children under five years old remain separated from their families because of safety concerns, the deportation of their parents and other issues, the administration said.
One immigration advocate told Reuters she was still awaiting details on when two under-five children would be back with their parents.
In ordering an end to the separation of families, the president said they should instead be detained together. And one adult each had a "falsified birth certificate", was "alleged to have abused the child" and was "being treated for a communicable disease".
According to court filings, both children were forcibly taken from their parents at the border and brought to Noank Community Support Services in CT, where they are now being cared for. The families will then be released, according to the Justice Department lawyer.
At a court hearing, Justice Department lawyer Sarah Fabian acknowledged the government wouldn't 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.
It was the largest single effort to date to undo the effects of President Donald Trump's zero-tolerance policy of separating families who try to slip across the Mexican border into the U.S.
After Avenatti tweeted a complaint about not being allowed in to the Cayuga home for children in East Harlem, he said he got a call from the center assuring him he could see the youngsters. "They are just using children!" he said.
The Department of Justice reported their list in a hearing on Tuesday in which they revealed to the American Civil Liberties Union that the missing father, as well as the child, "might be" us citizens.
1 child can not be reunified at this time because the parent's location has been unknown for more than a year.
Pressed on whether his "solution" was to punish children for being brought to the USA illegally by adults, Trump retreated to more general comments.