Of the almost 3,000 migrant minors who were separated from their parents and placed in federal custody, the Trump administration says at least 102 are under 5 years old. "The Trump administration does not approach this mission lightly".
"If we find out they are not the legal parent, then clearly we are not going to reunite them", Meekins said.
Lead attorney Lee Gelernt wrote that ACLU has been unable to verify the government's claim that it reunited the 57 children, and said the government did not alert the ACLU about the release of each person from detention, as they had agreed to in court. Some parents of the children have already been deported; others are still in criminal custody; others are undergoing background checks.
Another two dozen were held because of problems with a parent, including 12 who were deported, nine in the custody of the US Marshals Service, two in state jails and one who can not be located.
The reunions are expected to be carried out in secret or secure locations, with parents taken from the detention centers where they have been held and children brought from federal shelters or foster homes. He declined to provide details about every case, but said one adult was convicted of child cruelty and narcotics charges.
At a bus station in Phoenix on Tuesday night, a 22-year-old woman who only gave her first name, Gisela, for safety concerns, said she had been apart from her 4-year-old son for over a month after presenting herself at a port of entry in Texas to seek asylum. According to HHS, the screening has saved children from being put in potentially risky situations, including with adults have charges or convictions for child cruelty, kidnapping, murder, human smuggling, or domestic violence. Another planned to house the child with an adult charged with sexually abusing a child.
The U.S. Health and Human Services patted themselves on the back, despite their failure to reunite the 102 young children by the deadline.
"These individuals had the opportunity to take the child with them when they were removed in the first place", Albence said. The zero-tolerance policy required adults to be sent to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.More news: Chris Weakens to Tropical Storm, Island Braces for Heavy Rain Tonight
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The Trump administration has asked Judge Dolly M. Gee of U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to amend the Flores settlement to allow children to be detained for longer periods of time. The move caused an worldwide uproar.
More than 2,000 children over the age of 5 remain separated from their parents.
Federal officials have been scrambling to reunite the children under the deadline set by Sabraw.
HHS and DHS are working to make arrangements for those children ages 5 to 17, officials said. The Department of Justice said the child, who has been in custody for more than a year, may be a USA citizen.
The judge has acknowledged in court Tuesday that after further investigation some parents may not fall within the class of those eligible for reunification with children at this point, but he reiterated to the Justice Department that the timetables he had ordered for reunifying families were "firm deadlines, not aspirational goals".
Mr Sabraw showed little appetite for giving more time to the government unless it could show good reasons in specific cases.
The government has said it is taking care to ensure children are safe by checking parents' criminal history, testing DNA to prove family relationships and reviewing adults for their suitability as a caregiver.
Orihuela said that the government knows where both J.S.R. and V.F.B. are and knows where their parents are being held.
The administration is facing an even more daunting court-ordered deadline to reunite about 2,000 older children with their parents by July 26. Sabraw has agreed that not all 103 children could be reunited, and that certain cases are too complicated to complete within his deadlines.