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Trump Administration: Separated Immigrant Families Could Get Second Chance At Asylum

Detainees sleep and watch television in a holding cell where hundreds of most...

Credit: Associated Press

Above: Detainees sleep and watch television in a holding cell where hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children are being processed at a U.S. Customs facility in Nogales, Texas.

The Trump administration reached an agreement Wednesday night with the American Civil Liberties Union that could benefit hundreds of immigrant families that were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border in their asylum claims.

San Diego federal judge Dana Sabraw is expected to consider the seven-page agreement during a hearing Friday.




Plan to address the asylum claims of class-member parents and children who are physically present in the United States.

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The agreement would allow many immigrants with removal orders to have their fear of returning home reevaluated, including those whose initial claims were denied. In "rare and unusual" cases, it would allow parents who were removed to Central America to return to the U.S.

RELATED: One-Year-Old Reunited With Father In San Diego After Months In Problematic Child Shelter

ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt said any parents who were "coerced or misled" into consenting to removal from the U.S. might be eligible for return to the U.S.

Attorneys have documented several parents who say they were asked to sign forms they didn't understand or were told they had to sign if they wanted their children back.

Generally, the agreement would serve to give parents who were separated from their children a better shot at asylum.

"This agreement is an important step forward," Gelernt said. "But at the end of the day, we still have thousands of kids who may have been permanently traumatized (by family separations). So while we're happy with this step, we all need to continue to remember how horrific this policy was and the damage it's done to so many children."

The Department of Justice declined to comment.

The agreement came months after Sabraw ordered the Trump administration to stop separating immigrant families and to reunite 2,654 children who were identified as having been taken from their parents.

More than 400 children remain separated from their parents, mostly because their mothers and fathers were flown back to Central America alone.

The Department of Justice reached an agreement Wednesday night with the ACLU regarding the asylum rights of separated immigrant families.


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