US wants 2 years to ID migrant kids
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Trump administration wants up to two years to find potentially thousands of children who were separated from their families at the border before a judge halted the practice last year.
The Justice Department said in a court filing late Friday that it will take at least a year to review about 47,000 cases of unaccompanied children taken into government custody between July 1, 2017 and June 25, 2018 — the day before U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw halted the general practice of splitting families. The administration would begin by sifting through names for traits most likely to signal separation — for example, children under 5.
The administration would provide information on separated families on a rolling basis to the American Civil Liberties Union, which sued to reunite families.
“We strongly oppose a plan that could take up to two years to locate these families,” said Lee Gelernt, the ACLU’s lead attorney. “The government needs to make this a priority.”
Sabraw ordered last year that more than 2,700 children in government care on June 26, 2018 be reunited with their families, which has largely been accomplished. Then, in January, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department’s internal watchdog reported that thousands more children may have been separated since the summer of 2017.