A federal judge on Friday urged the government and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to reach a compromise on reuniting the families of detained migrant children who have parents that were deported, according to The Associated Press.
The judge asked the government and the ACLU to discuss the possible return of parents who were deported without their children and to consider whether they could pursue asylum with the minors, as the ACLU has urged.
U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw wrote that “hasty removal of these children and their parents at the expense of an ordered process provided by law” would not be in the public’s interest and would inhibit minors’ right to pursue the asylum process, according to the AP.
A status update on Thursday stated that 565 migrant children remain separated from their parents and in U.S. custody. Another 366 adults affiliated with a child are already out of the U.S.
The government has claimed some adults who were deported waived their rights to be reunited to their children, or waived their own right to seek asylum. The ACLU argues that many migrants did not understand what rights they were waiving.
Sabraw had put in place a July 26 deadline for the reunification of all separated families, which the government partially met.
The latest report says 2,089 children have been discharged, either to their parents or another guardian.
The government suggested groups like the ACLU, which has intervened in the process to reunite families separated due to U.S.-Mexico border policies, should use their “considerable resources” to reconnect family members.
Sabraw disagreed, putting the onus on the government before asking for this new cooperation.