Deadline's Up For Separated Families In LA — But Some Reunions May Take Longer

People demonstrate and call out words of encouragement to detainees held inside the Metropolitan Detention Center after marching to decry Trump administration immigration and refugee policies on June 30, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

On Monday morning, a federal judge in San Diego said he'll give the government extra time to reunite some families of children under 5 who were separated at the border.

U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw says he's optimistic that some migrant families who were separated by officials under a recent border policy may be reunited on Tuesday, while some may need to wait.

Under a June court order, the administration was given a deadline of this Tuesday to reunite all children under 5-years-old with their parents — and until July 26 for older kids.

Last Friday, federal attorneys argued that they needed more time to reunite the families, including in some cases where parents have been deported already.

The judge ordered an update by tomorrow morning on which families with young children the government will require more time to bring together.

As of the end of June, there were about 104 separated children held in four facilities in the greater Los Angeles region, including a six-month old baby, Los Angeles County officials said. The children were being held in East Los Angeles, La Verne, Fullerton and Temecula.

U.S. Health and Human Services, which oversees the federal shelters where children were sent, said last week that plans included DNA testing to confirm parents and children are related. The plan, they said, is to reunite families while they're in the custody of immigration officials. But lots of questions remain.

Attorney Lindsay Toczylowski said some parents she's working with had not received word as of Friday about how or when they'd be reunited with their kids.

"It does appear there is a lot of confusion in terms of how this would exactly happen," she said.

On Monday morning, a government attorney told the court in San Diego that for the most part, parents who are in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have been moved close to where their children are being held. Plans would then be for the children to be taken to an ICE facility, then to release the parents and children together.

Attorneys are to update the judge tomorrow on plans for reuniting remaining families.


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