The White House administration declared on Thursday that the government is on track to meet a court-mandated deadline to reunite thousands of children with their parents that have been “found eligible for reunification” by Friday.
The Department of Justice said in court documents that as of 6 a.m., which was the cut-off for filing, 1820 children between the ages of 5 and 17 had been discharged from the government’s custody. They are now reunited with their parents or in the care of other sponsors.
Of the 1820 children, 1442 of them have been put with their parents who are being held by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in two detention centers. The remaining 378 have either reached the age of 18 or are living outside a detention center in the U.S. with their parents, relatives or another adult approved by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. This is the agency that has been overseeing the minors’ care.
However, 711 children were still in ORR custody because their parents are either already out of the country, considered ineligible for reunification, or have waived their rights to their children.
Chris Meekins, chief of staff for the Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, said in press conference that, “Hundreds of staff within HHS have worked 24-7 to reunify children with their parents in ICE custody.”
Officials have given a revised total number of children who have been separated from their parents upon entering the U.S. from 2,551 to 2,531. They noted that number includes children who were taken into ORR custody before the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance”policy went into effect.
What do you think about the government’s compliance with the court order. Did you think they would make the deadline? Were you in favor of the president’s “zero tolerance” policy? Let us know in the comment section below the article.