ACLU expects 'less than half' of separated immigrant families will be reunited by the Tuesday deadline
The Trump administration is not on track to meet the court-mandated deadline to reunite separated immigrant families.
Officials have until Tuesday to return children younger than 5 to their parents, but the American Civil Liberties Union said that it looks like "less than half" of those cases will be successfully completed on time, The Associated Press reports.
The Justice Department requested an extension, citing a need to thoroughly identify and vet each migrant parent, but a California judge declined the request, saying only certain cases might qualify for an exception. The ACLU received a list from the government detailing the 102 children under 5 years old who must be reunited by Tuesday, but said that it "appears likely that less than half will be reunited" on time.
The immigrant children, separated from their parents as a result of the administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, have been in government custody while officials criminally prosecute their parents or proceed with asylum requests. The DOJ was instructed to submit a request for possible deadline exceptions by Monday.
"It's extremely disappointing that the Trump administration looks like it will fail to reunite even half the children under 5 with their parent,” ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt told AP. "These kids have already suffered so much because of this policy, and every extra day apart just adds to that pain." Read more at The Associated Press.