ACLU expects less than half of migrant families to be reunited by deadline

ACLU expects less than half of migrant families to be reunited by deadline
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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said late Sunday that it expects the Trump administration to complete fewer than half of the court-ordered migrant family reunifications before a deadline this week.

The prediction comes after the administration on Sunday turned over a list of 102 names of immigrant children under 5 years old who have been separated from their parents under President TrumpDonald John TrumpSasse: Trump shouldn't dignify Putin with Helsinki summit Top LGBT group projects message onto Presidential Palace in Helsinki ahead of Trump-Putin summit Hillary Clinton to Trump ahead of Putin summit: 'Do you know which team you play for?' MORE's immigration policy.

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The ACLU said in a statement that it now “appears likely that less than half will be reunited by Tuesday's court-ordered deadline.”

The group said that the government initially provided “incomplete information” before a Saturday deadline to hand over the names, but revised the list on Sunday.

“It’s extremely disappointing that the Trump administration looks like it will fail to reunite even half the children under 5 with their parents,” said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, in a news release.

“These kids have already suffered so much because of this policy, and every extra day apart just adds to that pain,” Gelernt added.

U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw ordered the government to turn the names over to the ACLU in response to the Justice Department's request for a blanket extension of the July 10 deadline, which Sabraw ordered last month after the ACLU sued to force family reunifications.

At a hearing on Friday, Sabraw told the Trump administration that it must adhere to the July 10 deadline, as well as a July 26 deadline to reunite all minor children over 5, "unless there is an articulable reason."

Another hearing is scheduled for Monday morning, when Sabraw is expected to determine which, if any, cases may be granted an extension.

The government sought the extension, arguing that it needed more time to match the children to their parents using DNA testing, saying it “has a strong interest in ensuring that any release of a child from Government custody occurs in a manner that ensures the safety of that child.”