Federal judge says 11 parents separated from children can return to US

Federal judge says 11 parents separated from children can return to US

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the U.S. to allow 11 parents who were deported without their children entry back into the U.S.

San Diego District Court Judge Dana Sabraw ruled that the Trump administration unlawfully prevented the parents from pursuing asylum cases, according to The Associated Press.

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In some cases, Sabraw found that agents coerced parents to drop their claims and accept deportation by having them sign documents they didn’t understand or telling them that asylum laws had changed.

Sabraw declined to allow seven other parents in the original request to return.

The 11 parents were separated from their children during the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy.

The policy was widely condemned and rescinded in June 2018, although some separations still occur.

Sabraw at the time ordered that the Trump administration begin to reunify families separated under the policy.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) praised Wednesday's decision, pledging to keep working to reunite families.

“We are thrilled that the court squarely rejected the government’s position that he lacked authority to bring back parents,” Lee Gelernt, an ACLU attorney, told the AP.

“We will do everything we can to continue to look for ways to bring back the parents who he did not order be returned.”