About Me

My photo
Beverly Hills, California, United States
Eli Kantor is a labor, employment and immigration law attorney. He has been practicing labor, employment and immigration law for more than 36 years. He has been featured in articles about labor, employment and immigration law in the L.A. Times, Business Week.com and Daily Variety. He is a regular columnist for the Daily Journal. Telephone (310)274-8216; eli@elikantorlaw.com. For more information, visit beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com and and beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com


Friday, July 13, 2018

Trump Administration Says All Eligible Young Migrant Children Have Been Reunited

Wall Street Journal
By Sadie Gurman and Arian Campo-Flores
July 12, 2018

Trump administration officials said Thursday they had reunited all eligible migrant children younger than 5 years old with their families, two days after a court-imposed deadline to rejoin the infants and toddlers with their parents who were detained for illegally crossing the border.

Of the 103 infants and toddlers in government care, the administration said it had identified just 57 who were eligible for reunions. Those children were returned to their relatives by early Thursday morning, the administration said.

Officials said 46 other children weren’t immediately reunified because they were deemed ineligible. For 22 of them, the adults seeking to rejoin them posed safety concerns, including charges or convictions for child cruelty and domestic violence, according to officials. Seven of the cases involved adults found not to be a parent.

In other cases, officials were trying to contact parents who had been deported. Others were in federal or state custody. And in one case, a parent’s location has been unknown for more than a year, officials said.

“Each step of our process is necessary to protect children,” said Chris Meekins, chief of staff at the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, on a conference call with reporters Thursday. “Eliminating any one of these steps will endanger children.”

U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego had ordered the government to quickly reunite the youngest children with their families as part of a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Authorities will now turn toward the more than 2,000 older minors who remain apart from their relatives, a process a judge has said must be completed by the end of the month.

The government will take steps to screen parents to determine whether they are eligible for reunification, so it isn’t clear how many children will be reconnected with their families.

Exactly how many children have been separated and where they are currently has been a point of contention. Mr. Meekins said the administration would provide the ACLU with a list of the children aged 5 to 17 later Thursday, at the direction of the federal judge.

The ACLU criticized the administration’s handling of the reunifications. “The government missed the deadline even for these 57 children,” said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. “Accordingly, by the end of the day we will decide what remedies to recommend to the court for the noncompliance.”

Families who have been reunited and released from custody under alternative-detention terms are required to report to any scheduled hearings in immigration courts, said Matthew Albence, executive associate director of enforcement and removal operations at Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Failure to do so likely will result in being rearrested by ICE, he said.

The families will “receive all appropriate court processes and considerations due to them under federal immigration law,” Mr. Albence said. “Those found to be removable from the country by a federal immigration judge will be removed.”

Many of the families were split after the Trump administration imposed a zero-tolerance policy for illegal border crossers. Officials maintained a longstanding federal court settlement prevented them from detaining children with their parents for more than 20 days, forcing the separations. President Donald Trump last month ordered an end to the separations, and subsequent court orders have sent agencies scrambling to reunite the children.

“Throughout the reunification process, our goal has been the well-being of the children and returning them to a safe environment,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement, crediting time-consuming vetting procedures that slowed the reunions for keeping children out of harm’s way.

For more information, go to: www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com

No comments: