The Federal government was given until July 10, 2018 to reunite the children under age five in its custody that it had taken away from their parents who sought asylum at our southern border. At a status conference in the Federal Court on July 10th, the Government made clear it had fallen far short of that mandate.
Of the 102 children under age five in its custody that the government had identified, only four had been reunited with their parents since the Court ordered reunification two weeks previously. The government noted that its failure to comply fully was due in part to having already deported some of these children’s parents (without reuniting them first), and in part to applying standards used in cases of minors who arrive unaccompanied by any adult.
On July 11th, the Court ordered the government to cease applying excessive standards inappropriate to children that the government itself rendered unaccompanied by taking them from their parents against the parents’ will (and sometimes without their knowledge while the parents were in court). The Court ordered the government to reunite 59 of these young children with their parents by the end of the day.
The government must provide an update to the Court on July 12th.