'57 migrant kids under age five reunited with family'

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The government "must establish a fund to pay for professional mental health counseling, which will be used to treat children who are suffering from severe trauma as a result of their forcible separation from their parents", said the ACLU in court papers filed late Thursday. The ACLU said the government hasn't been able to explain why that is taking so long.

More than 2000 children were separated from their parents by US immigration authorities at the border this spring before US President Donald Trump reversed course on June 20 amid an global outcry. "If they want their children to return to them", working with a consul will "help facilitate that".

The administration says it has reunited 57 children under 5 with their parents, meeting this week's court-ordered deadline for all who were eligible.

Also on Thursday, the government will give Sabraw a progress report on younger children and whether it expected to meet the July 26 deadline for the older group. It said it was reviewing the government statement and would comment later. Forty-six were "acknowledged by the court to be ineligible for reunification or determined by HHS, DHS and DOJ to be ineligible under court-approved criteria". Thirty children will not be reunited by Tuesday, for a range of reasons. Other parents were barred from being reunited for less serious violations, such as drunk driving convictions. Additionally, the location of one child's parent had not been known for over a year.

In Tuesday's filing, administration lawyers stated that a remaining 27 children were not eligible for reunification with a parent and were therefore not subject to the court-mandated reunification deadline.

Many other children who should be reunited with their families are still in detention or foster homes as their parents can't afford the often more than $1,000 plane tickets, either to other parts of the US or back to their home countries. The government has been conducting DNA tests of all alleged families to ensure that children are not being released to human smugglers. The government disputed that, saying it provides DNA testing at no cost to verify parentage. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has predicted the tough immigration stance will discourage people from illegally entering the country.

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Public outrage over the separations led President Donald Trump to retreat last month from his "zero-tolerance" policy toward unlawful border crossings.

They were finally reunited recently and will stay with relatives in OH while their claims are processed. A total of about 80,000 migrants wearing tracking devices on their ankles now live in the United States.

Devin O'Malley, a Justice Department spokesman, said the department disagreed with Gee's Monday ruling and continued to review it.

Federal officials have been scrambling to reunite the children under the deadline set by Sabraw. NPR's Sasha Ingber pointed out one incident in which a 1-year-old boy was brought before a judge.

A national outcry, including from many of his fellow Republicans, prompted President Trump to sign an executive order stopping family separations.

It wasn't immediately clear how many children left detention facilities Tuesday or how many remain.

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The government maintained in the filing that it is complying with the judge's orders.

The announcement comes two days after a court-ordered deadline to return the youngest of the children. They include migrants who were released from detention before the zero-tolerance policy was enacted in April. The court would reconvene on Friday to establish whether administration officials had carried out that order.

Of the deported parents, officials said they had chosen to leave their children behind.

On Tuesday morning, staff members at a private firm that has been detaining numerous youngest children "made sure every backpack was full and every child got a hug and a goodbye", Southwest Key CEO Juan Sanchez said.

Trump's comments came after a federal judge in California rejected a DoJ request to allow the long-term detention of migrant children.

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