The Department of Justice reported their list in a hearing on Tuesday in which they revealed to the American Civil Liberties Union that the missing father, as well as the child, "might be" us citizens.
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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.
A government lawyer said Monday that at least 54 children under the age of 5 would join their parents by a court-ordered deadline, only about half the 100 or so children covered by the order.
Sabraw's court in San Diego had ordered the government to take a streamlined approach to matching and vetting parents for reunification. "That's the solution." Apparently, the president wasn't informed that his administration very well may have separated a legal USA citizen from his child, a problem to which his "solution" does not apply.
Most parents reunited with the youngest children this week were being released from custody on ankle monitoring devices to await immigration hearings.
In Thursday's joint statement, officials stated that the "American people gave this administration a mandate to end the lawlessness at the border, and President Trump is keeping his promise to do exactly that". "This is real progress and I'm optimistic that many of these families will be reunited tomorrow, and then we'll have a very clear understanding as to who has not been reunited, why not, and what time-frame will be in place".
Officials told reporters that the 46 children deemed ineligible for reunification will remain in USA custody until they're placed with a family member or HHS-approved sponsor.More news: Croatian players' kids delight World Cup fans with post-win scratch match
In a call with reporters, DHS's Matthew Albence said the 12 adults who have already been deported had an opportunity to take their children with them, but declined. According to government attorneys, nine have parents who have already been deported, while an additional nine have parents that have been released from government custody in the United States.
Abril Valdez of the ACLU of MI said the government was "vague" on the time and place of the reunifications that could come on Tuesday (Wednesday NZT) for two Honduran men he represents.
Government lawyers had argued that all parents and children should be tested. Some parents are not eligible, the government said, because they have criminal records, were deemed to be unfit or, in one case, have a communicable disease. But make no mistake about it: "the government missed the deadline even for these 57 children".
The government has said it is taking care to ensure children are safe by checking parents' criminal history, testing DNA to prove family relationships and reviewing adults for their suitability as a caregiver.
Seven adults were not parents of the children from whom they were separated.
The Trump administration separated the families as part of its "zero tolerance" strategy to criminally prosecute all immigrants who cross the U.S. -Mexico border illegally, including those who are seeking asylum.
Another two dozen were held because of problems with a parent, including 12 who were deported, nine in the custody of the US Marshals Service, two in state jails and one who can not be located. Eleven children's parents were also in custody for other alleged criminal offenses. "These are firm deadlines", he said.
The Trump administration faces a second deadline on July 26. If he finds the government missed his deadlines, he could hold government officials in contempt of court and has a wide variety of punishments available to him.