Judge To Hear Update On Effort To Find Parents Already Deported Or Released
A federal judge in San Diego Friday will hear an update on the government's effort to find parents who have been deported or released back into the United States after being separated from their children at the border as part of the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy on illegal immigration.
Last week, U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw said it was "unacceptable" that the government had located only 12 or 13 parents out of close to 500 who have been removed from the United States or released into the mainland.
In a conference call last Friday with attorneys from the Department of Justice and the American Civil Liberties Union, Sabraw said it was "disappointing" that there wasn't a plan in place to find the parents who had been separated from their children.
Friday's status conference comes two days after Sabraw upheld a previous order barring the government from deporting recently reunited parents and children who were separated at the border.
Sabraw, considering a request for a temporary restraining order in a case transferred from the District of Columbia, said Wednesday that an order he issued three weeks ago prohibiting the government from removing reunified families from the United States before they've had a chance to discuss their immigration status is still in effect for both cases.
Plaintiffs in the case of M.M.M. v. Sessions received assurances from the judge that the order halting deportations applies to both parents and their children who may be seeking asylum hearings.
In June, the ACLU won a nationwide injunction in its class-action lawsuit requiring reunification of children under age 5 by July 10 and all children by July 26. The Trump administration missed both deadlines.
Sabraw ordered the government to put one person in charge of the effort to find parents who were separated from their children.
The ACLU said it needs more information from the government on the whereabouts of parents who have been removed from the United States and sent mainly to Honduras and Guatemala.