The Latest: Administration struggling to comply with order
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Trump administration and immigration (all times local):
The Trump administration is struggling to comply with a federal judge’s order requiring that thousands of migrant children who were forcibly separated from their parents be reunited within 30 days.
The hard deadline set Tuesday night by a U.S. District Judge in San Diego has touched off a flurry of activity at federal agencies already coping with the aftermath of Trump’s order halting the separation of families.
In his order, U.S. District Court Judge Dana Sabraw said all families must be reunited within 30 days, and children under 5 must be reunited with their parents within 14 days.
It remained unclear how the administration would meet that deadline, given the amount of red tape and confusion that has hung over the reunification process.
The Health and Human Services inspector general’s office says it’s launching a wide-ranging review of conditions at shelters for migrant children.
The agency said Wednesday it will focus on safety and health-related concerns, as well as the training and qualifications of federal contractors who are supposed to ensure the well-being of children temporarily in federal custody.
Spokeswoman Tesia Williams says the inspector general’s probe will not focus on specific allegations of mistreatment, since those are being investigated separately.
HHS is caring for about 12,000 migrant children, including some 2,000 who arrived at the southwest border with a parent and were separated because of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy.
A judge has ordered those children reunited with their parents.
The Justice Department says a judge’s order to reunite families separated at the border “makes it even more imperative” that Congress pass immigration legislation that would enable it “to simultaneously enforce the law and keep families together.”
Otherwise, the administration says, “lawlessness at the border will continue.”
On Tuesday, a judge in California ordered U.S. border authorities to reunite separated families within 30 days. If the children are younger than 5, they must be reunited with their families within 14 days of the order.
The Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy on illegal border crossings resulted in some 2,000 children separated from their families so the adults could be detained. It’s unclear how legislation might enable him to continue his policy without separating families or placing children in jail-like settings.