Only 14% of separated migrated children reunited so far

With a court-ordered deadline for reuniting all detained migrant children less than a week away, the Trump administration has reunited only 14% of the children in custody.
By Rick Docksai | Dec 09, 2018
The Trump administration has reunited 364 migrant children older than five with their families, according to court documents released Thursday. The numbers add up to only 14% of the 2,251 children whom the administration detained and separated from family members under its "zero tolerance" policywith just one week to go before a court-ordered deadline to separate all the children.

A federal judge ordered the administration last month to reunite all of the migrant children in its custody by July 26. But government lawyers have told the court that meeting the deadline will be difficult because they are conducting background checks and screening interviews of all detained children's parents.

Some parents did not pass, according to the filing, which said that the government has designated 908 parents as "either not eligible or not yet known to be foible for reunification." They include 136 parents who "waived reunification" during the interview process, and another 91 who turned out to have a "prohibitive criminal record" that resulted in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) refusing to give them their children back.

The screening process has so far fully approved 222 parents, the filing states. It says that these 222 successful screening cases are among the 1,606 parents whom investigators deemed "possibly eligible" for being reunited with their children. More than 500 of the "possibly eligible" cases are still pending, however.

To meet the July 26 deadline, the administration will have to complete screenings of approximately 1,200 more parents. Administration officials have not commented on whether they expect to meet this deadline.

The government said recently that it has finished reuniting all "eligible" children under age five. This was in keeping with a court order to reunite all if these children by July 10. But as the ACLU noted in a Thursday court statement, the government has not said what its criteria for "eligible" was.


Have something to say? Let us know in the comments section or send an email to the author. You can share ideas for stories by contacting us here.

Comments should take into account that readers may hold different opinions. With that in mind, please make sure comments are respectful, insightful, and remain focused on the article topic.