However, a federal judge on Tuesday was largely satisfied with the government's efforts to meet his deadline, and turned his attention to the 2,000 to 3,000 families that need to be reunited later in the month.
By late Tuesday afternoon, four children of 102 children found for the term had already been brought together with their parents, and another 34 people would be reunited at the end of the day, the administration said. That was less than the 54 children the federal government had previously said would have been reunited by the deadline.
The children treated under the Tuesday deadline are all under 5 years old and are segregated for weeks or months by the government held by parents at the border.
But, he said, "these are fixed deadlines, not ambitious goals."
More than 38 to be reunited by Tuesday, another 16 The children were to be reunited "soon afterwards," the record said as soon as they were validated, and another eight were sent to follow up on security and security Possibility of parents registered. One parent of another child had an unsolved problem with the background exam.
The schedule for the Tuesday meetings plans to hand over the children to the Immigration and Customs Authority, which manages adult detention centers holding their parents. Once the children have been taken into custody, ICE will release the families along with ankle monitors for their parents, an immigration and customs official told reporters on a conference call. This plan avoids the lengthy "sponsorship" process required to dismiss an unaccompanied immigrant child from the health service.
Twelve other children have parents who can not be found, either because they have already been deported or have already been released.
There are 27 children that the government has determined are not yet eligible for reunification, either because the adult is unfit for a criminal record or not because the parents are a danger to the child or contagious are disease. A handful are still in custody.
The judge referred the government to lawyers and American lawyers Civil rights attorneys representing the immigrants in the case to discuss the remaining cases to ensure that they agree. All controversial situations – including cases where the ACLU does not believe that a criminal record is correct, for example – will be forwarded to the judge on Thursday in a status update due on Thursday.
Also on Thursday: Information on how many thousands of children between the ages of 5 and older will be reunited until the next deadline, 26 July.
Sabraw has scheduled another hearing for Friday.
Tuesday's hearing was also forward-looking as Sabraw largely sided with the ACLU to deal with families in the forward movement.
The judge repeatedly stated that it was the duty of the government to reunite the families it separated, and thus the full procedures that it would apply to children in their care who came to the US alone Not apply.
"The idea of an application process does not fit in. The parent has the right to be reunited, and it is the government's obligation to do so," he said.
Parents, Sabraw said, should not I have to prove that they are good sponsors for their own children.
The government and the ACLU did not agree on several procedural steps for reuniting parents. Sabraw, who was largely affiliated with the ACLU, said the government should only test DNA families if necessary, either for time constraints or lack of paper track.
He also said procedures such as the requirement of "sponsorship" plan "should not be required before parents get their children back.
" Parents do not apply. You do not have to prove you're a good sponsor, "said Sabraw," and the government must be careful to see if the parent is unfit or dangerous. "
He also pointed out that parents who have been deported are" big. " "Problem will be," advocated lawyers to deal with the issue, discussing these meetings in their submission later this week.
"This will be a big problem," said Sabraw, "because if we're 12 out of 101 or 102 if we look at the next 2,800, 2,900 individuals, I suppose there will be a corresponding number of people who have been removed.
Government defends its practices
In an earlier meeting with reporters, officials from the Ministry of Health and Welfare and immigration and customs officials defended the slow pace of family reunification, citing a series of criminal records and other issues that came up when checking in parents to meet today's deadline.
"Our process may not be as fast as some may want, but there is no question that it protects children," said Chris Meekins , the Chief of Staff for the Office of the Deputy Secretary for Readiness and Response at the HHS. "Let me make it clear that HHS would have been able to hand over any child from ORR care to a parent who is now in DHS custody when we have child safety do not take into account or if the adult is actually a parent. "
He said if HHS was not careful and had egg All children without checks are reunited. "We would place her in the care of a rapist, a kidnapper, a child molester, and someone accused of being a murderer in his homeland." 19659002] The court documents and the alert stated that, for example, another adult in the home had a record adult sexual abuse of a 10-year-old girl. However, parents are allowed to choose a different life situation and then reapply to be reunited with their child.
Regarding non-locatable parents, the government has indicated that the blame is on the parents.
"There are a very large number of illegal aliens around the country, one parent who has been released … always has the ability to go to HHS and ask for his child's sponsorship," said Matthew Albence. Chief Executive Officer of ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations. "It happens every day, and if those people decide not to, we can not do anything to force them, and it makes me question if they were parents at all."
CNN's Catherine E. Shoichet and Laura Jarrett contributed to this report.