U.S. seeks to reunite more young immigrants as new deadline looms

(Reuters) – A day after dozens of parents were reunited with children who had been separated at the U.S.-Mexico border by immigration officials, the U.S. government faces a looming deadline to match another roughly 2,000 children with parents.

The struggle to track and match parents with children under five suggests meeting a July 26 deadline for reuniting the remaining older children could be fraught with problems.

“That is going to be a significant undertaking,” U.S. Judge Dana Sabraw said on Tuesday of the next deadline.

Sabraw ordered the government to reunite by Tuesday about 60 of the youngest children who were separated as part of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy on illegal immigration.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the lawsuit that led to Sabraw’s court order, said on Wednesday it did now know if the government had met the deadline for the youngest children.

“Trying to find out,” said Lee Gelernt, an ACLU attorney, wrote in an email.

The Department of Health and Human Services referred to figures released on Tuesday, when the Trump administration said four children were reunited and at least 34 more would be by the end of the day, about half of the total in that group.

U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Wednesday to blame the Democratic Party, among others, for not fixing immigration. “Judges run the system and illegals and traffickers know how it works. They are just using children!” he said. …

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