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Zoe Tillman @ZoeTillman
, 14 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
As of today, the administration has reunified 1,012 parents in ICE custody separated from children at the border, per DOJ lawyer today in court (the hearing is still going). That number is up from the 879 reunifications in the government's status report yesterday
DOJ lawyer said she did not know how many reunified families were being detained and how many had been paroled into the US (recall the judge temporarily halted removals from the US while he considers a motion about how to handle removals going forward:…)
To date, the government has identified 1,637 parents in ICE custody who eligible for reunification, and today DOJ said they expect to complete all those reunifications by the judge's Thursday deadline (1,012 have been reunified so far, and the rest are cleared, per DOJ)
As of today, there are 914 adults who have already been deemed ineligible for reunification (because they waived it or have a "prohibitive" criminal record) *or* where the government isn't sure if they're eligible or not
Of the group where the government isn't sure if they're parents who are eligible for reunification, the govt said there are 400+ whose records indicate they aren't in the US anymore — that could be deportation or voluntary departure. The govt is looking into it, per DOJ today
There are also some 200+ that the DOJ lawyer said today may include parents who were released into the US and the govt is still trying to figure out where they are and what their status is
For the group who appear to still be in the US, the judge asked why the government wouldn't know where they are. DOJ lawyer it may be that they were in state or federal custody and immigration authorities weren't notified when they were released
DOJ lawyer said today that are still kids where the govt hasn't identified a matching parent number and is still looking for info — last # was 37, per ACLU. Lawyer said she wasn't sure if that # was still right, and with those kids, it may be that they were actually unaccompanied
On the issue of how much time should pass between a family reunification and deportation, DOJ and ACLU indicated today that their negotiations fell apart, so they want the judge to rule. ACLU lawyer said they "desperately" need the 7-day window they've asked for
ACLU lawyer said the govt is going to be putting hundreds of reunified families in a single facility prior to deportation (Karnes), and the situation is "a mess" in terms of being able to give them meaningful consultation about their options (re: the kid staying, for instance)
DOJ is contesting the judge's authority to stop deportations from happening, and said that they nevertheless tried to reach a resolution with the ACLU but were unable to. Said they were "blindsided" by latest allegations from the ACLU
The judge praised the govt for its efforts to meet his July 26 deadline. "This is a remarkable achievement," he said, noting the efforts of the HHS official in charge, Jonathan White. There may be disputes about eligibility, the judge said, but he'd address those as they arise
BUT: The judge said the govt needs to give more information to the ACLU about the status of parents whose location is unknown or who may have been removed without their child. "That's a deeply troubling reality of the case." More from the judge in the screenshot:
So what's next? The reunification deadline for all eligible parents is Thursday (eligible = confirmed parent with no disqualifying criminal record; if the govt can't find the parent, not considered eligible right now). Status report due Thursday. Next court date is Friday.
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