Judge does not give Trump admin more time to reunite all separated families

A federal judge on Friday appeared to reject the Trump administration’s request to extend the deadline to reunite families separated at the border under the “zero tolerance” policy.

U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw said that the department must comply with the July 10 deadline to reunite children under 5 years old with their parents, and July 26 for other children, “unless there is an articulable reason.”

Sabraw asked for additional information in order to rule and warned government attorneys he expected “a lot of work over the weekend,” according to CNN

The Justice Department had requested an extension on the court-ordered deadlines, saying that it needed more time to match 101 children under 5 with their parents using DNA testing.

“The Government does not wish to unnecessarily delay reunifications or burden class members,” the Justice Department argued in the filing, according to The Associated Press. “At the same time, however, the Government 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.”

Justice Department attorney Sarah Fabian said that the administration has so far matched 83 children to 86 parents.

{mosads}“There’s always going to be tension between a fast release and a safe release,” she said.

The judge said that an extension may be permissible in some cases, and ordered the Trump administration to share a list of the 101 children with the American Civil Liberties Union, who originally sued to force reunification, so the two sides can determine which cases need more time.

“The government must reunite them,” Sabraw said, according to the AP. “It must comply with the time frame unless there is an articulable reason.”

He did not rule yet on the government’s request but indicated he is inclined to “stand on the deadline,” Sabraw said, according to Bloomberg.

More than 2,000 migrant children have been separated from their parents under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy prosecuting all adults crossing the border illegally.

President Trump last month signed an executive order halting family separations at the border, but the administration has faced criticism for not moving quickly to reunite families.

— Updated 2:27 p.m.

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