Trump admin releases names of children under 5 separated at border

HHS using DNA testing in order to reunite migrant families 'faster'

On Friday, Fabian said in court that 19 children under age 5 in government custody had a parent who was already deported.

He said the ACLU instead wanted a detailed explanation of when all families will be reunited.

Sabraw's order in the class-action lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union applies to all families who have been separated and includes a halt to any future separations.

The government has until Tuesday to meet a court-appointed deadline to reunite 101 children under the age of five with their parents, and until July 26 to reunite the older children.

The government sought an extension on the deadline, saying they needed more time to conduct DNA testing.

But the process has been complicated because the judge's ruling applied not only to children taken from their parents under the "zero-tolerance" border policy, but those separated for other reasons, several officials said.

As for the last of the 102, Fabian said, "We're still trying to track down what information we have about that parent". Sixteen children had not been matched, and it remained unclear if they crossed with their parents, she said.

Of those parents, 46 are in immigration custody, 19 were released from immigration custody and 19 were removed from the USA without their children. The government has until 26 July for older children.

In Friday's legal request - the government asked for more time and clarification on if their current process for confirming parentage is consistent with the court's mandate and "seeks clarification that in cases where parentage can not be confirmed quickly, HHS will not be in violation of the Court's order if reunification occurs outside of the timelines provided by the Court".

In the court filing, the Justice Department sought clarification on whether they have to reunite migrant kids with parents who were already deported and appeared to argue that would be too hard and time consuming.

The government said it is willing to propose an alternative timeline.

Government officials feel aggrieved in general at the stress caused by their practice, now halted, of separating parents and children in enforcing misdemeanor border-crossing crimes.

He said that he was pleased with the efforts being made to reunite families, even if it proves impossible for some to be done by the deadline, suggesting it is unlikely the government will be accused of violating the court order.

Azar said the logjam was due to previous policies and court decisions that prevent migrant families from being held in detention for extended periods.

During the hearing the ACLU also accused the Trump administration of missing 10 children in its count of those in its custody aged newborn to five. "At the same time, however, the Government has a strong interest in ensuring that any release of a child from Government custody occurs in a manner that ensures the safety of that child". He called it an "unprecedented situation in connecting parents and children".

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar released a new estimate Thursday that fewer than 3,000 children remained in their care likely who were separated from their parents, but he said analysis was ongoing and he could not provide a more precise figure. He also said that adults can not be deported from the United States without their children.

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