Today is the court-ordered deadline for all migrant children under the age of five to be reunited with their respective families, and the Trump administration is expected to fall short of meeting that requirement.
On Monday, CNN reported that the federal government anticipates that only 56 of the 102 children will be reunited with their loved ones. Sad? Sure. Unexpected? No.
The court issued the order on June 26, in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). On July 5, the Trump administration filed for an extension.
Civics Lesson: Human Rights
The United Nations defines human rights as, “Rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status. Human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and many more.”
On June 5, 2018, U.N. Human Rights Office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani urged the U.S. to stop separating families at the U.S.-Mexico border. She said that the practice “amounts to arbitrary and unlawful interference in family life, and is a serious violation of the rights of the child.”
Image credit: Shutterstock
Judge Dana Sabraw denied that request, but said that he was “very encouraged by the progress” being made.
Some of the delay is understandable, given that government officials are going to great lengths to make sure that the adult who accompanied the child is in fact their legal guardian.
“There’s always going to be tension between a fast release and a safe release,” said Justice Department attorney Sarah Fabian.
According to CNN, six of the children are not covered by the order either because of their parents’ criminal records or because the adult who accompanied them turned out not to be their parent.
The following list is the most detailed data thus far on the status of the remaining children:
- Five have parents who are still in ICE custody, but could be released soon pending a thorough background check.
- Nine have parents who have already been deported from the U.S.
- Nine have parents who were already released from ICE custody, but whose whereabouts in the U.S. are unknown.
- Eight have parents who are currently in federal criminal custody.
- Four have parents who are currently in state criminal custody.
- Four could be released to an approved sponsor as opposed to a parent.
- One is yet to be reunited due to a lack of information about the parent.