700 separated children still in U.S. custody after deadline
District magistrate Dana Sabraw, based in San Diego, California, said last night that Donald Trump's administration deserves great credit for returning to his parents or sponsors more than one thousand 800 children, from five to 17 years old, for the date limit that was fulfilled last Thursday.
This figure includes 1,442 infants who were returned to their parents while they were still in the custody of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service, and another 378 who were released in different circumstances.
However, Sabraw warned that a better system should be established because many families have not yet met, and said the executive is to blame for losing several hundred adults in the process.
This is due to the fact that of the 711 minors who could not be returned to their parents after being divided into the southern border of the country, in many cases as a result of the zero tolerance political controversy of the Trump administration, 431 correspond to parents who were deported.
The KFMB chain in San Diego reported that, according to court documents, about 120 of those adults renounced reunification with their children.
But attorney Lee Gelernt of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which represents separated families, said that those who signed the waiver of reunification did not understand the initiations, and they should be given more time to talk about it with their loved ones.
In this regard, the Department of Health and Human Resources, which is responsible for the custody of children when they are alone, said that these parents have the ability to change their minds and work expeditiously to bring them together.
Sabraw ordered the administration and the ACLU to send written updates every Thursday about families still divided.
At the same time, in a parallel legal action, Judge Dolly Gee from Los Angeles approved Friday the appointment of an independent monitor to assess the conditions of children in the border facilities, after getting many reports of food in poor condition, insufficient water and temperatures cold. ■