Trump lawyers say gov can't locate parents of 38 migrant children

Trump lawyers say gov can't locate parents of 38 migrant children
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Government lawyers said Friday that officials are unable to locate the parents of 38 migrant children separated under the administration's controversial "zero tolerance" border policy, as officials push to comply with a judge's order that the families be reunited.

Lawyers said the Department of Health and Human Services is only able to reunify about half of the around 100 children under the age of 5 that the judge ordered be reunited with their parents by July 10, NBC News reported.

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Among those that the administration said it cannot track, government lawyers said the parents of 19 children have been released from custody in the U.S. but their whereabouts are unknown, while 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," Sarah Fabian, a Justice Department attorney representing the government, said during a status hearing before U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego, NBC reported.

The Department of Justice on Friday asked for more time to reunite the thousands of families who were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Attorneys for the government say both the court-ordered July 10 deadline to return kids under the age of 5 to their parents and the July 26 deadline to return all other kids do not take into account the time needed to verify and vet each parent.