US tells court migrant families may not be reunited by deadline

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

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

Azar said HHS is working "overtime" to confirm that the people who purportedly are parents of those children actually are their parents, and is also checking to see if any parents have a background that makes them unsafe to receive a child.

The U.S. government must provide a list by Saturday evening of the estimated 100 children under the age of 5 who were separated from their parents when entering the United States, a federal judge ordered on Friday.

"We have a vital and historic mission here to protect these children", he said.

Alex Azar, the secretary of Health and Human Services, told reporters on Thursday that under 3,000 children in total were separated by the government, though he couldn't specify the exact number. "You've taken a child from the parent".

More than 2,000 children were separated from their parents after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in May that the zero-tolerance policy was in full effect, even if it meant that families were to be separated as a outcome.

Whether or not the government does use the DNA tests to reunite families, the administration has a lot of work to do to meet the court-ordered deadlines - at the time of his conference call with the press, Azar said the government had yet to reunite any of the separated migrant children with their families. While parents were criminally prosecuted, children were placed in custody of the Health and Human Services Department.

Health and Human Services also claimed in the court documents that it "knows the names and locations of all children who are in (Office of Refugee Resettlement) care and custody at all times because ORR maintains that data in its online case management portal", but says the portal was not created to include certain details regarding the parents which Department of Homeland Security may hold or the parent may have. The court order, Azar said, "goes back indefinitely".




"We will comply [with the court] even if those deadlines prevent us from conducting a standard or even a truncated vetting process", Mr Azar said.

Falcon, communications director for RAICES, a nonprofit in Texas that offers free and low-priced legal services to immigrants and refugees, called the move deplorable because collecting such sensitive data would allow the government to conduct surveillance on the children "for the rest of their lives".

But without a response to questions about how many reunions have occurred - or at least an updated figure on the number of kids from separated families who remain in custody - the public has no way to track whether families are being reunited or how quickly it's occurring.

Officials have said they'll comply with the judge's order, but they haven't specified what steps they'll take to do that.

The case is Ms. L et al v. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement et al, 18-cv-428, U.S District Court, Southern District of California (San Diego).

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. The court documents say that the government has identified "approximately 101 minors under age 5" under the care of HHS's Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Recommended News

  • Akufo-Addo appoints 4 Supreme Court Justices

    Akufo-Addo appoints 4 Supreme Court Justices

    Spencer Abraham (R-Mich.) and has written several notable opinions blasting President Barack Obama's IRS and Labor Department. Kethledge graduated from the University of Michigan and received his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School.
    Park beats Ryu, Hataoka in playoff to win KPMG Women's PGA

    Park beats Ryu, Hataoka in playoff to win KPMG Women's PGA

    The two-time major champion from South Korea posted one of the few sub-par rounds in the morning at the Kemper Lakes course. Though her ball landed inside the hazard line, Park hit the flawless shot from the hazard to make an up-and-down for a par.
    Ronaldo defends Neymar against play-acting claims

    Ronaldo defends Neymar against play-acting claims

    While Brazil fans were celebrating wildly, the El Tri fans were egging their players to come back to the game. This one though, seems to be the charm, as he now looks like the man Brazil need to lift the trophy.
  • Epic to Turn Off Fortnite’s Playground Mode Next Week

    Epic to Turn Off Fortnite’s Playground Mode Next Week

    The Fortnite Playground limited time mode finally got underway for real this week and has managed to run along pretty well since. At its core, the mode is a private space where up to four players can interact independently of others.
    Southgate wants England to build on their progress in Russian Federation  so far

    Southgate wants England to build on their progress in Russian Federation so far

    But the English kept their cool and won a tight penalty shootout to head into the quarter finals. He got a bit of criticism last week, undeservedly, so I am so happy for him to achieve that.
    Roger Federer beats Lukas Lacko to advance to third round at Wimbledon

    Roger Federer beats Lukas Lacko to advance to third round at Wimbledon

    Venus reached her ninth Wimbledon final past year , but the American star was denied a sixth title by Garbine Muguruza. The Russian kept her cool, however, to hold serve and then break Wozniacki, winning 6-4 1-6 7-5.
  • Sweden ousts Switzerland to reach World Cup quarterfinals

    Sweden ousts Switzerland to reach World Cup quarterfinals

    Switzerland controlled possession early as Sweden mostly defended with 10 men behind the ball when in their own half. A low-quality match featured some of the worst finishing seen so far at the World Cup , and two efforts stood out.
    Heat and humidity before a big change

    Heat and humidity before a big change

    Another round of excessive heat and humidity is on the way today with afternoon highs in the 90s with heat index values 100°-110°. With 79-83 Saturday & 81-86 Sunday , we may see our first night with lows in the 50s in three weeks.
    Girl killed after beach inflatable 'exploded'

    Girl killed after beach inflatable 'exploded'

    More than a dozen calls were made to the East of England Ambulance Service Trust, which responded to the scene in four minutes. One eyewitness wrote on social media: "Inflatable trampoline just exploded on Gorleston beach with children on it".
  • Pompeo meets North Koreans, hopes to 'fill in' details on denuclearisation

    Pompeo meets North Koreans, hopes to 'fill in' details on denuclearisation

    Pompeo will spend a day and a half in North Korea, until Saturday, his first overnight stay there. Now, he'll be able to hear the tune, and maybe return the favor with a mix tape.
    Nearly  half of United States  voters think Trump is racist

    Nearly half of United States voters think Trump is racist

    Calls to abolish the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, also known as ICE , are getting louder . It was created recently in the hysteria of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant sentiments following 9/11.
    Trump says he'll name high court pick on July 9

    Trump says he'll name high court pick on July 9

    Trump's list was assembled with the input of conservative legal activists who also touted Gorsuch for the previous court vacancy. In Arkansas, a legal battle is now playing out over a law that imposes limitations on access to medication-induced abortions.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.