Of more than 100 detained, the Trump administration has only reunited 4 immigrant toddlers with their parents
The Trump administration has reunited just four of the 102 migrant children age 5 or younger who were supposed to be back with their families by Tuesday, court documents show. Another 50 are expected to be reunified today.
Officials were given the chance to miss the previously imposed Tuesday deadline, with a federal judge requesting a proposed timeline for when each family could be reunited. In the submitted documents explaining the status of the migrant children who were separated from their parents upon arriving in the U.S. under the "zero tolerance" immigration policy, the administration explains that there are a wide range of cases.
The documents show that 26 children have been determined "not eligible for reunification," citing reasons like parents with "serious criminal history" or parents who are being detained in criminal custody. In one case, the government still doesn't know where the child's parent is, writing that "records show the parent and child might be U.S. citizens."
Fifty-one of the 102 cases are classified as "likely eligible for reunification," but the Department of Justice won't make the deadline because the parents are in immigration detention. Another 12 cases won't meet the deadline because the parents were "removed" from the U.S., and the government needs to contact them to "determine whether they wish to have their child reunified with them in their home country."
The judge reportedly agreed with the government's evaluation that children whose parents had criminal convictions wouldn't be subject to Tuesday's deadline, but said he intends to uphold the deadline "on most of the individuals." Summer Meza
Facilities holding immigrant children who have been separated from their parents at the border are already getting crowded, and in Texas they're about to get even worse.
Texas officials have given the green light for 15 shelters to hold up to 50 percent more children, filling up beyond capacity as President Trump's administration continues its zero-tolerance border policy, the Texas Observer reported Wednesday.
Records show that facilities have been approved to hold an additional 722 kids beyond their current max capacities, a 16 percent increase. Some shelters have filled even more rapidly, increasing capacities by 48 percent. The shelters are owned and run by nonprofit organizations that the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement contracts to oversee youth detention. About 11,000 children are in ORR shelters, reports the Observer.
"Child welfare is being thrown out of the window because the feds say they don't have enough room," a National Association of Social Workers official said. "The capacity was never meant for this new population [of separated kids], so you're going to run into issues." State officials say they have reviewed the facilities to ensure they will be able to handle the new influx of kids. Read more at the Texas Observer. Summer Meza