The federal judge, who ordered the swift reunification of thousands of migrant families, sharply criticized the Trump administration on Friday after saying that complying with the judge's order would increase the risk of harm to children.
The Health and Human The Department of Services has devised a new, accelerated plan to return nearly 3,000 migrant children to their parents by July 26. But it also said that this would require a quicker review and probably the children with abusive parents or adults who falsely claim to be their parents.
In a court file containing the new plan, Chris Meekins, the Deputy Secretary of Readiness and Response, said, "Although I have fully committed myself to comply with the order of this court, I do not believe that the placement of Children in such situations are consistent with HHS's mission or my core values. "
"Unfortunately, H.H.S. seems to operate in a vacuum, completely separate from the undisputed circumstances of this case," he said. His position, he added, contradicts the express statements of senior government officials – including the president himself – that reunification is progressing rapidly.
Judge Sabraw also said that the department itself has accelerated its security checks before the EU trial, and these safe reunions "can be carried out in the prescribed time and manner."
"It is clear from Mr. Meekins' statement that HHS either does not understand or disagree with the court's orders," he said.
The government says in its new reunification plan that it will return up to 200 children a day to their families. Parents in custody are sent to one of six to eight institutions and are checked with two basic checks, one for the prehistory and one for the confirmation of the pedigree. Then the child is brought to this facility within 24 to 48 hours.
The plan was submitted after a hearing in a lawsuit against the government over its family separation practice and a chaotic week of down-to-the-wire meetings by a small subgroup of separated children – those under 5 – with some False starts and delays
The administration is facing a much more difficult task. Only 57 children under the age of 5 were reunited in the first phase, while another 2,551 remain in custody, according to recent government estimates.
Judge Sabraw set a series of deadlines on Friday that should prevent the last minute execution of the first phase. He said that the government must confirm all parent-child relationships by 19 July, one week before the final reunification period, and notify them at least 12 hours before reuniting the site and the identity of the parent and child. I hope that the new deadlines will allow them to mobilize in good time to help reunified families with temporary shelter, clothing and food Many of the families will be released in states far away from their relatives or support networks. Some were released last week without money or housing, including the mother of a six-month-old baby, who according to court documents was left by immigration officials at a bus station until she received a bus ticket at midnight. 19659002] Nevertheless, the judge was satisfied with the progress of the government.
"The parties are working in a very modest and successful way because of the enormity of the venture," he said.
Family separations started quietly last fall and ramped up in May with the announcement of the government's "zero tolerance" policy. After a thunderous public outcry, on June 20 they stopped with an executive order from Mr. Trump, who reaffirmed his commitment to strict immigration policies, but pulled the line in family separation.
The government did not meet its Tuesday reunification date for children under the age of five, but had done so by the end of the week for anyone eligible for funding.
To streamline the process, the government said it will use DNA testing sparingly to confirm descent. It would rely on documentation and what Judge Sabraw in most cases called "common sense" to achieve reunification more quickly.
There remain questions about the future of children whose parents were deported without them, who judge Sabra to be "One of the troubling realities of this situation". He set a deadline of seven days to bring these children back to their parents after the government secured the necessary documents for their trip.