(Bloomberg) -- Fewer than half of the 102 children under age 5 who were forcibly separated from their undocumented parents at the U.S. border are likely to be reunited by the Trump administration by a court-ordered deadline of July 10, the American Civil Liberties Union said.
The government on Saturday provided the ACLU with a list of children after U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego declined a last-minute request by immigration authorities to extend the deadline, which was set at July 10 for children under 5 and July 26 for all 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," Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said in a statement. "These kids have already suffered so much because of this policy, and every extra day apart just adds to that pain.”
The ACLU on June 26 won a preliminary injunction requiring reunification after Sabraw called the practice "brutal." At Friday’s hearing, Sabraw ordered the U.S. to provide a list with the status of each young child as well as details of the procedures, including screening the criminal history of the parents, that the Justice Department claims is slowing down its compliance with his order to reunify families.
The children were separated under President Donald Trump’s “zero-tolerance policy” for prosecuting all adults who cross into the U.S. illegally. Trump reversed course amid intense public backlash and ordered a halt to the practice, though his directive conflicts with the policy, which remains in place.
©2018 Bloomberg L.P.