On July 26, United States District Court Judge Dana M. Sabraw ordered the federal government to reunite immigrant parents with the children who were taken from them when the entered the United States. The children under the age of five are supposed to be returned to their parents by tomorrow (July 10); older minors are to be reunited by July 26.
Today (July 9), Trump administration attorney Sarah Fabian told press that the government will miss that deadline. Per a list the administration provided to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which represents separated families in a lawsuit, there are at least 102 children under five. Just 54 of the small children will be back with their parents by tomorrow, per The Huffington Post. There are an estimated 3,000 children currently being detained without their guardians.
Government attorneys requested an extension of the deadline, saying that they need more time to conduct DNA tests and screenings. They also reportedly cited the fact that some of the parents had already been deported. Judge Sabraw denied the extension and requested reunification status updates from government attorneys for later today and tomorrow.
“It’s extremely disappointing that the Trump administration looks like it will fail to reunite even half the children under five with their parents. These kids have already suffered so much because of this policy, and every extra day apart just adds to that pain,” said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.