US says all eligible youngest children and their families have been reunited

Christian from Honduras recounts his separation from his child at the border during a news conference at the Annunciation House in El Paso Texas

Christian from Honduras recounts his separation from his child at the border during a news conference at the Annunciation House in El Paso Texas

The struggle to track and match parents with children under 5 suggests the government may have more difficulties in meeting a July 26 deadline for reuniting the remaining 2,000 older children with adults from whom they were separated.

Tornillo, about 50 miles southeast of El Paso, now houses more than 350 immigrant minors, including 16 children who were separated from their parents after they were apprehended at the border, said Rodriguez, who toured the facility Friday along with state Rep. Lina Ortega.

But almost half of the children under 5 remain separated from their families because of safety concerns, the deportation of their parents and other issues, the administration said.

And they identified another 11 parents who were found to have a "serious criminal history", including charges or convictions of child cruelty, kidnapping and murder, making them a danger to their children.

The remaining 25 children could not be reunited due to the circumstances of their parents, including 12 adults who have already been deported and are being contacted, and nine adults who are in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service for other offenses. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar released this statement Thursday morning: "Dedicated teams at the Departments of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, and Justice have worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of Ms. L class members".

Donald Trump's administration has said it will release some migrant families from detention with ankle monitors, marking a return to the so-called "catch-and-release" policy the president vehemently denounced.

The Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy to prosecute all adults crossing the border illegally resulted in the separation of thousands of children from their parents after entering the United States, though this case was filed long before that policy and affects nearly all families separated at the border still in government custody.

"Their statement is vague at a minimum", said attorney Lee Gelernt, noting that a San Diego judge had set a deadline of Tuesday for reuniting those children. She said locations would not be publicly disclosed, but children have been sent to shelters across the country.

ACLU lawyers said Thursday, "If in fact 57 children have been reunited because of the lawsuit, we could not be more happy for those families".

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The three fathers were "just holding them and hugging them and telling them that everything was fine and that they were never going to be separated again", immigration lawyer Abril Valdes said.

The separations - which also involve somewhere under 3,000 older children - have sparked worldwide outrage and considerable confusion.

Of 103 toddlers brought to the USA illegally in most of May and June, 57 have been reunited with their parents.

The zero-tolerance policy required their separation after they attempted to cross illegally over the U.S. -Mexico border. He alleged that the parents only wanted all along for their kid to stay in the United States, and that is why they agreed to leave without them.

Eight have parents in federal criminal custody and are awaiting being handed over to ICE, while an additional four have parents in state or local criminal custody.

Orihuela said that the government knows where both J.S.R. and V.F.B. are and knows where their parents are being held.

The Trump administration announced Thursday that it completed the initial reunifications for children under 5 years old. According to the court filing, the mother called an attorney and an immigration advocacy group for help, and finally secured a bus ticket around midnight on Tuesday.

Seven adults were determined not to be the parents of the child they entered with.

On Thursday, the government will give Sabraw a progress report on the younger children and whether it expects to meet the deadline for the older group.

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