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July 21 2018, 08:00 | Irvin Gilbert
DNA tests ordered to reunite separated migrant families
On Friday, Fabian said in court that 19 children under age 5 in government custody had a parent who was already deported.
Under President Barack Obama, DNA testing of unauthorized border-crossers was rare, former administration officials said, but one said it was sometimes used as a last resort to verify family connections when placing unaccompanied minors with sponsors in the United States.
The American Civil Liberties Union says it appears the Trump administration will miss Tuesday's deadline to reunite young children with their parents in more than half of the cases.
Trump has made fighting immigration - both illegal and legal - a central plank of his US-centered policy agenda, resulting in the "zero tolerance" immigration approach under which undocumented border crossers were being systematically prosecuted, and their children separated from them.
Immigration officials said they've relocated 23 parents to facilities that are closer to the HHS shelters where their children are staying. "The reportedly destroyed records bear directly on the lives of thousands of immigrants seeking entry to our country, threatening the permanent separation of parents from their children". The agency is now reviewing the cases of all 11,800 children in its custody to determine whether they were separated from caregivers.
But they also acknowledged that they do not know the whereabouts of the parents of roughly 20 percent of the toddlers still in custody, and likely won't meet the July 10 deadline.
"Any confusion is due to a broken immigration system and court orders", Azar told reporters on Thursday.
Attorneys also argued that the government shouldn't have to reunite the children whose parents were already deported, but Sabraw confirmed that it did, according to The Huffington Post.
"I am very encouraged about the progress", Sabraw said on Monday, according to the newspaper. Those children range in age from 2 to 13 - meaning the youngest, a 2-year-old boy, should be on his way to his mother by early next week.
On Thursday, a leading House Republican and Democrat teamed-up to request from Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen documents and other information about each child separated from their parents, including where they are being detained and for how long.
"The government must reunite them".
US officials on Thursday said that while they believe they're in compliance with "all aspects" of the order, they want the deadlines modified because government agencies - including the Department of Health and Human Services - are following "time-consuming" procedures like DNA testing to confirm parentage. In a statement, an administration official said its priority was "to ensure the safety of the children in its custody".
But a number of bureaucratic hurdles have complicated the efforts to place those children back with their parents.
"ICE does not have the ability to go into those countries", said Fabian of the immigration enforcement agency.(BEGIN OPTIONAL TRIM.) Other problems have occurred because parents and children are so widely separated.