SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Trump administration says it expects to begin reunifying about 2,500 children ages 5 and older with their parents on Friday after they were separated at the border.
The Justice Department says in a court filing in San Diego that the reunifications are expected to begin Friday and occur “on a rolling basis” up to a July 26 court-imposed deadline.
The reunifications will occur at six to eight unidentified U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement locations.
The administration says it is using truncated procedures to verify parentage and perform background checks. It says those procedures raise child safety concerns but are being used to comply with court orders.
A federal judge is commending the Trump administration’s efforts to reunify families separated at the border but also keeping close watch as a big deadline nears.
U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw said at a hearing Friday in San Diego that the government has demonstrated good faith and largely complied with a deadline this week to reunite families with children under 5 years old.
At the same time, he indicates he will be monitoring the administration’s actions ahead of a July 26 deadline to reunite more than 2,000 children who are 5 and older.
The judge says the administration must provide a list of names of parents in immigration custody and their children by Monday and complete background checks for them by Thursday.
A federal judge will consider Friday how closely to monitor the Trump administration as it faces a new deadline on reunifying families separated at the border.
The American Civil Liberties Union says the administration failed to meet a Tuesday deadline to reunify dozens of children under 5 years old. It argues that because of that, it should be closely watched as a July 26 deadline approaches to have more than 2,000 children 5 and older rejoin their parents.
The administration insists it complied with the judge’s order, saying it reunified all 58 children under 5 who were eligible. It acknowledges that 20 of the 58 were reunified within two days after the deadline “for logistical reasons specific to each case.”