Government falls short of deadline to reunite kids, parents

Published 07-11-2018

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SAN DIEGO (AP) – Some immigrant toddlers are back in the arms of their parents, but others remain in detention facilities as federal officials fell short of meeting a court-ordered deadline to reunite dozens of youngsters forcibly separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border.

A federal judge in San Diego set a 14-day deadline to reunite children under 5 with their parents.

In trying to meet the first deadline, the government began with a list of 102 children potentially eligible to be reunited and whittled that to 75 through screening that included DNA testing.

Government attorneys said it needed more time to track down parents of the remaining children.

The administration faces a July 26 deadline to reunite perhaps 2,000 or so older children.

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FILE - In this Friday, June 22, 2018, file photo, a mother, left, and son, from Guatemala, hold hands during a news conference following their reunion in Linthicum, Md., after being reunited following their separation at the U.S. border. On Monday, July 9, 2018, a California federal judge rejected the Trump administration's efforts to detain immigrant families in long-term facilities, calling it a "cynical attempt" to undo a longstanding court settlement. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File) - The Associated Press


Ever Reyes Mejia, of Honduras, carries his son to a vehicle after being reunited and released by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Grand Rapids, Mich., Tuesday, July 10, 2018. Two boys and a girl who had been in temporary foster care in Grand Rapids were reunited with their Honduran fathers after they were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border about three months ago. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) - The Associated Press


A child from Honduras is brought to the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Grand Rapids, Mich., Tuesday, July 10, 2018. Two boys and a girl who had been in temporary foster care in Grand Rapids have been reunited with their Honduran fathers after they were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border about three months ago. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) - The Associated Press


Ever Reyes Mejia, of Honduras, carries his son to a vehicle after being reunited and released by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Grand Rapids, Mich., Tuesday, July 10, 2018. Two boys and a girl who had been in temporary foster care in Grand Rapids, were reunited with their Honduran fathers after they were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border about three months ago. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) - The Associated Press


A child from Honduras is brought to the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Grand Rapids, Mich., Tuesday, July 10, 2018. Two boys and a girl who had been in temporary foster care in Grand Rapids, have been reunited with their Honduran fathers after they were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border about three months ago. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) - The Associated Press


FILE - In this June 26, 2018, file photo, children stand and hold protest signs during a rally in front of Federal Courthouse in Los Angeles. More than 50 immigrant children under age 5 will be reunited with their parents by Tuesday's court-ordered deadline for action by Trump administration and the families will then be released into the U.S., a government attorney said Monday, July 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File) - The Associated Press


FILE - In this June 25, 2018, file photo, Diana Jung Kim, right, and Homer Carroll, both from Houston, hug during a protest outside the U.S. Border Patrol Central Processing Center in McAllen, Texas. More than 50 immigrant children under age 5 will be reunited with their parents by Tuesday's court-ordered deadline for action by Trump administration and the families will then be released into the U.S., a government attorney said Monday, July 9, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File) - The Associated Press


American Civil Liberties Union attorney Lee Gelernt addresses reporters after a hearing in San Diego, Calif., Monday, July 9, 2018. More than 50 immigrant children under age 5 will be reunited with their parents by Tuesday's court-ordered deadline for action by Trump administration, and the families will then be released into the U.S., a government attorney said Monday. That's only about half of the 100 or so toddlers covered by the order. (AP Photo/ Elliot Spagat) - The Associated Press