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The Trump Administration Will Miss a Deadline to Return Separated Children

"The Trump administration looks like it will fail to reunite even half the children under 5 with their parents."

Douglas Christian/ZUMA Press/NewscomDouglas Christian/ZUMA Press/NewscomAlready under fire for separating children from their parents at the Mexican border, the Trump administration has informed a federal judge that it will not fully meet today's deadline to reunite the families.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order last month promising to end the practice of child separation at the border. In the month leading up to the executive order alone, some 2,300 children were separated from their parents and placed in "cage-like juvenile detention facilities." Though the practice of separation will end, the prosecutions of adults suspected of residing in the United States illegally, which led to the separations in the first place, will continue.

About a week after Trump signed the order, U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw of San Diego ordered that all children be returned within 30 days. The decision came in a preliminary injunction after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit. Sabraw also gave the immigration authorities 14 days to reunite children under the age of 5 with their parents.

By Monday, Justice Department lawyer Sarah Fabian announced that the 14-day deadline would not be fully met. Fabian explained that of the 102 children under 5 who have been identified, only 54 of them—possibly 59—would be reunited with their families on time.

The government has reportedly struggled to offer exact information about the number of children separated from their parents. The ACLU claims that the government initially provided incomplete information about the children.

"It's extremely disappointing that the Trump administration looks like it will fail to reunite even half the children under 5 with their parents. These kids have already suffered so much because of this policy, and every extra day apart just adds to that pain," the ACLU's Lee Gelernt said in a statement.

Both Trump and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen have attempted to argue that the separation policy was set in place to combat human trafficking. Despite the president's insistence that fraudulent family units make up a significant percentage of family crossings ("like nobody would believe"), The New York Times reports that such scams "make up less than 1 percent of the families apprehended at the border."

In addition to the reunification order, Sabraw issued a nationwide injunction to cease the separation policy, with an exception for parents who are either deemed unfit or do not wish to remain with their children. Authorities must also allow separated parents and children to contact each other via phone within 10 days, per the injunction.

Photo Credit: Douglas Christian/ZUMA Press/Newscom

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  • Cy||

    But... THE CHILDREN!!!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    About a week after Trump signed the order, U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw of San Diego ordered that all children be returned within 30 days.

    Or else what?

  • JoeBlow123||

    FISTS WILL BE SHAKEN VIGOROUSLY AND THE MEDIA WILL PRINT MOUNTAINS OF TEXT!!

    Also it is good for our tabloid news like Fox, MSNBC, CNN, Reason, New York Times. Need something to gripe about.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    *Shakes Fist (of Etiquette) vigorously*

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Fist should be stirred, not shaken.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    How many armies does this district court judge have?

  • jcw||

    wow. True nature revealed.

  • jcw||

    wow. True nature revealed.

  • ||

    Arbitrary deadlines are arbitrary.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Wow, you mean the government can't be trusted with children? Who knew!

  • Cy||

    Only criminal's children. Wait no.. not those criminals!

  • Rich||

    U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw of San Diego ordered that all children be returned within 30 days [and] also gave the immigration authorities 14 days to reunite children under the age of 5 with their parents.

    Sheesh, Dana, why don't you order that the National Debt be abolished and all residents have free energy for life?

  • John||

    How exactly do you reunite children with their parents if their parents are not here? Most of these kids did not come with their parents. You want to reunite them? Okay, send them back to where they came from. I don't think that is a solution that reason is going to like very much.

  • Rhywun||

    Most of these kids did not come with their parents.

    Are there numbers on this? I know Reason won't print them but it's gotta be out there somewhere.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    They will never ever admit the numbers of unaccompanied children. It utterly destroys their narrative.

    Americans are not tolerating illegals that are adults.

    Open border people switched to using kids. The push is to get non-Americans kids situated in the USA and then have their court appointed immigration and guardian ad litem attorneys petition for the adult family members to get visas to enter the USA.

    Its not fooling anyone. It will just cause more Americans to support Trump who is looking more and more like the reasonable person in this.

  • JFree||

    You're still lapping up Trump's diarrhea?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    John could never become dysenterysted in Trump.

  • Kongming||

    Bravo! It's not easy to make a pun from the word "dysentery."

  • JoeBlow123||

    Yeah that was pretty good. Credit where credit is due.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    "Most of these kids did not come with their parents."

    If that's the case, then they were never separated in the first place. AFAIK the judge's order only covers families separated by ICE. Your argument is attacking a strawman.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The judge's order should only cover ICE units in her judicial district of San Diego.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I like that you didn't capitalize "reason," implying that this would be against the very course of logic, rather than disliked by the editors of this magazine.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Deport all of them and they will be reunited.

    Reunited, and it feels so good
    Reunited 'cause we understood
    There's one perfect fit ..

  • damikesc||

    As Justice Thomas said, a district judge doing a national injunction is of dubious legality. At best.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Exactly. I think Trump is getting the hint that over-goose-stepping district court justices are to be ignored outside their judicial districts.

  • JFree||

    That's just a BS interpretation of his opinion. There is no such thing as a regional/district injunction. Either the govt entity is enjoined or it isn't. A 'district injunction' would merely tell the government - keep doing whatever you're doing in this district but move the decision-making to a different district.

    What Thomas' opinion said was that an equity remedy (eg an injunction rather than monetary damages) can only legally apply to the actual plaintiff. iow - on this particular issue, only the children and parents themselves would have legal standing - so until such time as they are able to certify as a class-action and win their case, they would not be able to either reverse their own kidnappingfamily separation and could never reverse future kidnappings family separations of others.

    What you are basically arguing is that our courts should turn into a Kafkaesque nightmare for anything other than monetary damages.

  • JFree||

    As an aside - Thomas' opinion re injunctions would also likely end up eliminating close to 100% of all suits challenging a law/enforcement as unconstitutional. No one could challenge a law restricting speech or confiscating guns or establishing religion. They could only challenge the infringement of their PERSONAL rights.

    IOW - the government would be able to de facto do whatever the hell it wanted to do - unconstrained by the constitution or any other limits - knowing that only the uberrich would be able to afford enough lawyers to challenge the laws applicability to them personally.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Injunctions should be reserved for unconstitutional actions that the judge feels may reasonably be reversed by an appellate court.

    Parents taking their kids on crime sprees to cross the border illegally and unaccompanied kids being held in different facilities than parents pending deportation is not being enforced as an unconstitutional action.

  • JFree||

    Injunctions should be reserved for unconstitutional actions

    Courts are not just to adjudicate the constitution. You are excusing KIDNAPPING of children by the state - with NO remedy through the court system.

    If there is a God in heaven, then I hope he judges you with all the harshness that you judge those kids. You are an indecent human being who deserves to rot in hell.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Easy there Pope Jacob the Douche.

    Adults should not take their kids on crime sprees and expect to be housed together.

    The illeGals can waive an extradition hearing and be reunited in a few days.

  • JFree||

    Nine parents of the 102 under-5's were already deported. Their kids are still here. One Honduran father committed suicide hours after his kid was taken by force from him.

    Without the injunctions, nothing would be known - less would have been done - for many more months as more fuckups unfold - while you asshole brigades forever defend the govt fuckups as evidence of kid trafficking and crime sprees.

    But hey. At least they're not white so it's not like any of it matters. Right?

    Keep slurping up Trumps diarrhea you maggot.

  • Benitacanova||

    Maybe parents should think twice before dragging kids on a crime spree.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Already under fire for separating children from their parents at the Mexican border, the Trump administration has informed a federal judge that it will not fully meet today's deadline to reunite the families."

    Did Trump also tell the judicial authoritarians to "go pound sand"?

    I hope so.

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  • Jerry B.||

    Meanwhile, the BBC has this information on why some children are not being reunited with their "parents"

    "The Department of Justice (DoJ) and American Civil Liberties Union's (ACLU) joint status report on Tuesday detailed why the 27 children cannot yet be reunited with their families.

    The parents of 10 children were being still held in criminal custody after crossing the US border without papers, and have yet to be fully assessed, said the report.

    Eight other children's parents have a "serious criminal history" including narcotics, human smuggling, murder and robbery.

    Two other children cannot be reunited with parents because of a possible threat of child abuse.

    Five children had been separated from adults who were not their parents."

    Funny that this data never shows up in U.S. media.

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