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According to the secretary of HHS on June 26, 2018, within SECONDS he could locate the children of EVERY parent.
That was obviously not true. A judge gave the government until July 10, 2018 to re-unite children with their families. The government is now asking for an extension of that time. The secretary of HHS LIED.
WASHINGTON — Government lawyers said Friday that they cannot locate the parents of 38 migrant children under the age of 5, as a federal judge indicated he is open to extending the deadline for reuniting nearly 3,000 children separated from their mothers and fathers while crossing the US-Mexico border.
In a status hearing with U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw of the Southern District of California, who ordered the reunification, government lawyers said the Health and Human Services Department would only be able to reunify about half of approximately 100 children under the age of 5 by the court-ordered deadline of July 10.
For 19 children, their parents have been released from custody into the U.S. and their whereabouts are unknown. The parents of another 19 children have been deported.
"The way [a family separation] is put in the system is not in some aggregable form, so we can't just run it all," said Sarah Fabian, the Justice Department attorney representing the government before Sabraw.
Sabraw said he would agree to delay the deadline for reunifying the youngest children if the government could provide a master list of all children and the status of their parents. Sabraw ordered the administration to share a list of 101 children with the American Civil Liberties Union by Saturday afternoon.
The judge scheduled a status conference for 10 a.m. Pacific time on Monday. A government lawyer said she could not attend a status conference over the weekend because she had out-of-town dog-sitting responsibilities.
"The government must reunite them," Sabraw said. "It must comply with the time frame unless there is an articulable reason."
In a court filing, attorneys for the U.S. government claimed the court mandate for returning all children under 5 to their parents by July 10 and all other children by July 26 does not account for the time required to verify and vet each parent.