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Still waiting on families to be reunited

Horrible story remains horrible.

The clock is ticking on a court-ordered Tuesday deadline for the federal government to reunite migrant parents with kids under 5 who were taken from them at the border. With a mere four days left, government attorneys have asked for more time — and some migrant parents say they have been given no information about how these court-ordered reunifications will take place.

At a status conference in San Diego Friday, government attorneys asked U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw to grant them reprieve from what they characterized as an over-ambitious deadline to bring together about 100 toddlers with parents who may be scattered across the country or the world — either held in immigration detention centers, released into the interior United States or, in some cases, already deported to their home countries.

Sarah Fabian, a lawyer for the Department of Justice, told the judge that the government has been able to match up 83 of those toddlers to parents, but has not yet found parental ties for 19 of them. Of the parents the government has identified so far, 46 remain in immigration detention centers. Those reunifications should be completed before the Tuesday deadline, Fabian said.

But the process is likely to take longer for the dozens of parents who are not in government custody. Nineteen parents of the youngest group of children have already been deported, 19 have been released from immigration custody into the United States, and two have been found to be unfit based on past criminal history. Fabian cautioned that those numbers were approximate and could be “in flux” over the coming days.

The judge — who had in a previous order criticized the government because “migrant children [were] not accounted for with the same efficiency and accuracy as property” — did not immediately lay out a longer time frame for reunifications in those more logistically challenging cases. Sabraw instead directed the government to provide more information over the weekend and set a Monday morning hearing to reconsider the deadlines.

“It may well be that once the plaintiffs know what the reason is and what groups [of parents] it applies to, they’ll agree that a more relaxed date can apply to a certain group,” Sabraw said at the conclusion of a lengthy conference. “But no one can make any informed decision, including the court, without additional information.”

While the judge did not revise the Tuesday deadline, it remains unlikely that all “tender age” children will be reunited with their parents by that original date. The odds are particularly steep in cases where those parents have already been deported, as the government argued Thursday. Lee Gelernt, the American Civil Liberties Union lawyer arguing the case on behalf of separated parents, said countless private lawyers and other organizations have offered up their services to help speed the reunification process.

You would think that reuniting children with their parents would be the top priority. That would require people who are not evil being in charge of that.

The Trump administration is making some remarkable arguments in the on-going child/family separation cases, making it seem like they actually want to slow roll their way into making the separations permanent. As Alice Ollstein explains, the government says it needs more time to determine whether the “putative parents” (i.e., people saying they want their kids back) are in fact real parents (people with a true custodial relationship to the children in question) and further whether are fit parents. In other words, having used the criminal law to meet the very high standard required to separate children from their parents, the government is now arguing that it needs to apply a very high standard to give them back. The government is further arguing that it should not be compelled to reunify families in which parents have already been deported because of the difficulty of doing so.

This is the singular moral issue of our time. We cannot lose focus on it. And we must vote out everyone responsible for putting us here, at the very least.

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  1. Manny Barrera says:

    One suggestions, just like you posted a photo of the candidate, post photo or photos of the stolen children.

    Not to long ago, the same evil people, that would be Republicans, were fighting to keep a child from his father. They are very very evil,

    Republican may care about their own children, but that care stops there. Republicans are the face of evil.

  2. Flypusher says:

    I recall back when my nieces were very small, I went on an outing with them and my sister to a Chuck-E-Cheese. At the door they put wrist bands on all family groups- that way they could check whether anyone leaving with a child was one of the adults who came in with that child. IOW they planned ahead. It’s obvious that the Trump regime didn’t put much thought into this other than how could they be the biggest, cruelest assholes possible. This mess was avoidable and it’s all on them.

  3. Bill Daniels says:

    First, we don’t know how many of those kids were used as ‘human shields’ to get illegals into the country. We don’t know how many of them were being trafficked, and we know that in prior years, our own government gave kids to traffickers, so it does happen.

    Second, any US citizen parent who paid criminals to drag their kids on a dangerous trek through the desert would be arrested for child abuse. We arrest parents for leaving their kid in a hot car, you don’t think what the parents did to these kids, just trying to sneak them into the US is not abuse? We would arrest any parent who forced their kid to climb on a train car and ride it, unsecured, for days. It’s abuse. How many have been sexually abused on their way to the US? What kind of parent would willingly subject their kids to that kind of abuse?

    Finally, what’s wrong with inflicting a relatively little amount of pain on these people, if it serves the greater goal of preventing future kids from being abused by being forced to trek here? If it could just save one life, amirite? If we temporarily separate 2,000 kids, and we save 10,000 kids from being sexually abused or trafficked, I’d say that’s a good trade off. And what about the kids sent here unaccompanied? Most of those are probably gang bangers, but some probably are just kids. What kind of parent would do that? We’d arrest any American parent that did that, and as far as I am concerned, in addition to the illegal entry charges, the parents caught dragging kids through harsh landscapes in the US ought to also be charged with child abuse.

  4. Bill Daniels says:


    I like your idea of superimposing pictures of candidates with the kids. Trump’s people can superimpose the pictures of dead kids found in the desert with candidates that support open borders. You can link pictures of Trump supporting candidates with kids who are not only alive, but a lot more safe than they were with their criminally negligent parents who put them in harm’s way to get here.

  5. Manny Barrera says:

    Bill you are an evil person, and I use person very loosely. Go hide underneath your rock.

  6. Manny Barrera says:

    Tell us who you really are Bill, you are a coward.

  7. Flypusher says:

    “Finally, what’s wrong with inflicting a relatively little amount of pain on these people, if it serves the greater goal of preventing future kids from being abused by being forced to trek here? “

    Everything. The fact that you asked that question tells me all that I need to know about your moral compass.

    That pain isn’t “little” either.

  8. Bill Daniels says:


    Everything about your answer tells me about YOUR moral compass, and it ain’t good. You’re perfectly OK with parents endangering their kids lives, and their psyches by hooking them up with human traffickers who have a strong propensity to sexually abuse the kids, and endanger them physically. Hey, jump on a moving train and ride on the top for days over bumpy terrain? How many kids have died or been mangled just from that little ride on ‘La Bestia?’ But let’s say they survive that part and only get raped along the way by the traffickers or others along the way, or die from lack of water in the desert. Hey, no problem there, amirite? Abuse is great, as long as your side is doing it.

  9. Manny Barrera says:

    Bill only cowards hide, tell us who you are? One that hates children and would take them away from parents. But it is okay, because all those you hate children, I save them to use against the Republicans, so keep it up.

    But just to point out something, Republicans here in Texas ain’t talking about those children, they don’t want to bring them up. They know that there are only a small subclass of humans that think like you.

  10. Manny Barrera says:

    Bill, I will give you credit for one thing, you made me think. What kinds of parents would raise someone like you, they must have been horrible people to implant so much hate in you, especially of children.

  11. Christopher Busby says:

    This will be the issue that my generation remembers decades for now. Pundits will wonder why Millenials remain solidly dem into their late 50s, 60s, and 70s when allegedly life is supposed to turn people conservative. We will look back and we will remember.

  12. Jules says:

    The government had no plan to reunite the kids and parents. They keep better track of prisoners’ stuff than they do these kids. It’s a horror.

  13. Flypusher says:

    Two wrongs don’t make a right Bill. Most people learn that by 1st grade.

  14. Jules says:

    The incompetence of the current administration is astounding, not keeping track of the families. Neilsen needs to go. What an incompetent.

  15. Bill Daniels says:

    “‘Traffickers know how it works,’ he claimed; ‘They are just using children!’
    Homeland Security Department has cited ‘many instances where human traffickers have used children to cross the border to gain illegal entry’
    Now DOJ and DHS say 46 of the 103 children in custody who are under 5 years old wouldn’t be safe with the adults who brought them across the border
    Some weren’t actually their parents; others are in prison for kidnapping, child abuse or murder; another is wanted for murder in Guatemala
    Still others gave phony birth certificates or planned to house a child with a known child sex abuser
    A dozen were deported but declined to take their children with them.”

    Nothing to see here, just sparks of divinity, doin’ what they do.