A federal judge flatly rejected a Trump administration effort to shift the burden of r tracking down hundreds of migrant parents deported without their children to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other non-profits and charities - saying the government is "100 percent" responsible for the separation and failure to reunite the migrant families.
It remains unclear what will happen when the parents are located.
In late June, Sabraw set deadlines of July 10 to reunify dozens of children under 5 with their families and July 26 to reunify children 5 and older. At a hearing earlier Friday, Sabraw said it appeared the government had no plan for the remaining families and chided the government for its disappointing stance.
As roughly two-thirds of the families separated by the administration have been reunited, the focus in an ongoing court case that ordered reunifications has turned to the more hard cases - especially the hundreds of parents who were deported to their home countries alone.
In April and May more than 24,000 adults without children were captured at the border each month, compared with about 4,500 adults with children per month during the same period.
The ACLU shot back that the government "must bear the ultimate burden of finding the parents" because "it was the government's unconstitutional separation practice that led to this crisis".
The ACLU as well as other human rights organizations have weighed in stating that it is ridiculous that the US government is not only saying they are not responsible for the fallout of their own child separation policy, but that they are saying they don't have the resources to follow through on the lawful order handed down to them as per USA Today. He cited an estimate that only about a dozen of the parents have been found in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, asking, "Is that true?"
Justice Department lawyers wrote on Thursday that the government would turn over whatever identifying information it could on the parents who were deported, including last known phone numbers and addresses.
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The ACLU argued that shifting the responsibility from the government is unacceptable.
"We see no reason why each case manager can't go through their files", Gelernt said of government workers assigned to process the migrant families. Some locations are listed as "In DHS Custody", "failed to provide" or the addresses of detention centers in the United States.
In an appearance on Fox News, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen had said the government will help reunite any parents with their children - if the parents get in contact with the authorities. ACLU lawyers asked the government for "as much information as possible, as quickly as possible".
Between April and June, the Trump administration separated more than 2,500 children from their parents after the families came into the country - legally and illegally - across the southern USA border as part of a "zero tolerance" immigration policy.
Once a parent is located, the government asked that the parent or his or her attorney provide written confirmation that the parent wants to reunite with his or her child, as opposed to waiving that right.
The proposal came in a San Diego Federal Court lawsuit challenging some 2,500 family separations initiated by the Trump administration as part of its "zero tolerance" policy to curb illegal immigration. They defended their record-keeping on what became of the parents and where the children were taken to be housed until they can be cared for by other means.
The two parties filed Thursday's joint report ahead of a status conference with the federal judge on Friday afternoon.