ACLU and federal government in day 2 of legal battle over migrant family reunifications

Posted at 11:28 AM, Jul 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-10 21:05:42-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A San Diego judge Tuesday ruled that a deadline to reunite immigrant families separated at the border will not be extended. 

Judge Dana Sabraw of the Southern District of California told the federal government that deadlines to reunite families are "not aspirational goals."

According to officials, 63 of the children under 5 separated from their families are ready to be reunited Tuesday. Judge Sabraw also said the government would have to provide detailed explanations for any families not reunited. The judge will be updated Friday. 

In total, Judge Sabraw ordered 102 of the children to be reunited with their families. The government said several of the children won't be reunited Tuesday for several reasons. The reasons include parents who are in criminal custody, have a medical condition or are in current danger. 

The American Civil Liberties Union and the federal government are working out how many children under five years old can be reunited with their parents by today’s deadline.

Judge Sabraw established Tuesday as the day for the federal government to reunite more than 100 children. The ACLU said the government would not meet the goal.

"The government is promising 54 possibly 59 we hope that those 54 get done, and we hope the government gives us information about the time and place of those reunifications so we can have faith-based groups or NGOs out there to meet the families. Otherwise, these families are going to walk out in the middle of America potentially with no money and no place to stay, so it’s critical that someone be there to meet them,” said an ACLU spokesperson.

Some of the cases involve children whose parents have already been deported. That will take more time, and possibly criminal background checks and DNA testing. One of the cases involves a three-year-old boy whose parents are nowhere to be found.

Thousands of older children are also supposed to be reunited with their parents. That deadline is later this month.

As Tuesday’s legal battle took place, a group called for the end of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency with a hunger strike. Half a dozen people took part.