Government won't meet Tuesday deadline to reunite separated parents, children

GettyImages-988377472

GettyImages-988377472

Yet in a disturbing investigation published Monday, BuzzFeed News has found that to not be the case, detailing the stories of several women who say they were ignored, roughly handled, shackled around the belly, and denied urgent medical care - even as they were miscarrying their children.

Government attorneys told a San Diego judge slightly over half of the children 54 of 102 represented by the ACLU and in Department of Health and Human Services custody will be reunited with their parents in ICE custody.

Gelernt, an attorney with the ACLU, spoke with As It Happens guest host Rosemary Barton about the administration's announcement. Two children have already been reunited with their parents, lawyers said.

"I am encouraged by the progress", Judge Sabraw said. He intends to be very hands on so the government can no longer make vague promises about reunification and will hold the government to very specific, tight deadlines. But on Monday, she said nine were removed from the United States and another nine were released here. Once the children are handed over to their custody, ICE will release the families together. A few of the justifications are legitimate.

Government lawyers said some reunions may not immediately be possible because parents have not been located or are still serving criminal sentences, such as for crossing the border illegally. One child's status is unknown because the government lacks information about the parent, Fabian said.

DoJ attorney Sarah Fabian said the government was still working to do background checks and confirm the relationships between the adults and children in its custody. "But for these kids, it's going to be all over the country".

The government is using procedures from its process of reuniting unaccompanied minors, which the ACLU argues is not necessary because the children were not unaccompanied until the government separated them from their parents.

The numbers were revealed during a court hearing between the government and the American Civil Liberties Union, which secured Sabraw's preliminary injunction requiring family reunification last month.

We hope the government will find that parent, and we will also be looking.

Sabraw declined on Friday to grant the government an extension but indicated he might be willing to do so if officials provided the court and the ACLU with a detailed list of the children and status of their reunification.

And how old is that child?

The children are extremely traumatized, as the medical community expected they would be. NPR's Sasha Ingber pointed out one incident in which a 1-year-old boy was brought before a judge.

"We will investigate and provide the government with a list of children who we think belong on the list", he said. Romero was separated from his daughter, was leaving Texas for California to stay with family members until he can be reunited with his daughter who is in a facility in Arizona.

And if they continue to drag on, what would you ask the judge to do in that instance?

I don't anticipate them dragging on. The bleeding still did not stop: "They were refusing to give me sanitary towels, I needed like 30 per day and we were given three per day", said Pagoada.

"Tomorrow there will hopefully be more than 50 babies and toddlers reunited with their parents, and that is obviously an enormous victory", he said.