On June 26, a federal judge gave the Trump administration a month to reunite the more than 2,500 children separated from their parents at the border. On Thursday, when that deadline hit, it had knit back together just about two-thirds of those families.
The other 700-plus of them, some with toddlers and some with teenagers, remain apart, with children scattered across the United States in government care and parents spread across the world. In some cases, parents were “ineligible” for reunification this week because of a prohibitive criminal background. In more cases, though, the continued separation is of the government’s own making: More than 400 parents were likely deported without their children, and nearly 100 more were released into the United States, their whereabouts now unknown. The location of parents to about 100 children remains “under review.” Parents to 120 children, the government says, waived reunification with their children; but lawyers for those families say many were confused or coerced.
Federal government officials announced Thursday evening that 1,442 reunifications have taken place in ICE custody among about 2,500 migrant children ages 5 to 17. Officials also said that 378 more children have been discharged “in other appropriate circumstances” — including reunifications with parents outside ICE custody, being released to other relatives, or turning 18.
That news about reunifications for older children comestwo weeks after the government reunited just 57 of 103 “tender age” children at its first court-ordered deadline, declaring the rest “ineligible.”
Some reunited families have been released together into the country; many remain locked up in immigration detention. Many of them will likely be deported together over the coming weeks.
This developing story will be updated soon.