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Judge will not extend deadline for government to reunite families

A federal judge ruled that he will not extend a deadline for the government to reunite all families separated at the border.

A federal judge ruled that he will not extend a deadline for the government to reunite all families separated at the border.

The Trump Administration was to have reunited nearly 100 children under 5 years old who were separated from their parents at the border by Tuesday, but Bloomberg reports they say they were only able to reunite 38 of those children.

Justice Department lawyer Sarah Fabian said that DNA tests being conducted for 16 parents and children were expected to run into Wednesday morning, but U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw did not extend the deadline.

The Department of Health and Human Services released the latest updates on the remaining children under 5 who were supposed to be reunited by Tuesday night.

They say that:

  • 10 can’t be reunited yet because their parents are in custody,
  • 16 aren’t eligible because their parents either had criminal histories, didn’t pass DNA tests, or the child could be at risk of abuse or disease,
  • 20 children are eligible, but their parents have either already been deported or are still being screened,
  • And 1 child’s parents can’t be found.

Bloomberg says that Sabraw stood by all deadlines, including the one to reunite about 2,900 children ages 5 to 18 by July 26.

He ordered an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union to prepare a possible punishment for the administration’s missed deadline.

Sabraw said that these are firm deadlines and not goals, but did provide wiggle room in cases where parents have been deported.

Sabraw also said that DNA testing isn’t necessary for every family and that other documentation like a birth certificate could be used to speed along the process.

The Trump Administration says that 16 more children will be reunited in the coming days.

Sabraw told the government to provide explanations on why the rest of the children haven’t been reunited by Thursday.

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