Trump administration: ACLU, not government, should find deported parents

Trump administration: ACLU, not government, should find deported parents
© Getty Images

The Trump administration on Thursday reportedly told a federal judge they shouldn’t be responsible for finding migrant parents who were deported after being separated from their children under President TrumpDonald TrumpClyburn says he's worried about losing House, 'losing this democracy' Sinema reignites 2024 primary chatter amid filibuster fight  Why not a Manchin-DeSantis ticket for 2024? MORE’s controversial “zero tolerance” policy.

The Justice Department said that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a nonprofit organization that is representing plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against the administration over the separations, should use their "considerable resources" to help find the parents, according to a court document filed Thursday.


“Plaintiffs’ counsel should use their considerable resources and their network of law firms, NGOs, volunteers, and others, together with the information that defendants have provided (or will soon provide), to establish contact with possible class members in foreign countries,” the department said in the filing.

However, the ACLU disputed the Trump administration’s claim in the court filing and argued that it is the administration who “must bear the ultimate burden of finding the parents” for its “unconstitutional separation practice,” noting that the government has far more resources than any nongovernmental organization.

"Not only was it the government's unconstitutional separation practice that led to this crisis, but the United States Government has far more resources than any group of NGOs (no matter how many NGOs and law firms are willing to help)," the organization wrote.

In addition, ACLU attorneys said they "hope that the government will take significant and prompt steps to find the parents on their own."

The administration also suggested the ACLU consult each deported parent to determine if they may want to waive their right to be reunified with their child.

A court previously ordered the government to reunite the migrant families by July 26, but hundreds of children still remain separated from their parents.