Details about the families separated by the administration of President Donald Trump remain a heart-wrenching story to read about. Disturbingly, this administration doesn’t seem too concerned about doing the right thing going forward, either.
One day before a federal court-imposed deadline to reunite immigrant children under the age of 5 who were separated from their parents at the U.S. southern border, lawyers for the Trump administration told federal Judge Dana Sabraw in a San Diego courtroom that they needed an extension for that deadline. The reason? Only two kids of the 102 seized by the government have been returned as of Monday.
Sabraw denied the extension. In response, Justice Department attorney Sarah Fabien said she believes the administration can still get many families reunited by Tuesday, up to 54 before the deadline.
A handful of children couldn’t be reunited, the administration’s lawyers suggested, because of circumstances outside of their control (such as the parents having serious criminal records, or having parents who are currently serving time for such crimes). But at least 18 children, the DOJ admitted, couldn’t be reunited because the administration lost track of their parents after they had been deported or released into the U.S.
American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Lee Gelernt, who is representing the families in the San Diego federal court case, said he also has doubts that the list of kids under 5 who have yet to be reunited with their parents is only 102. The organization believes it’s found a handful of others not yet recognized by the administration.
“We will investigate and provide the government with a list of children who we think belong on the list,” Gelernt said. “We believe there are as many as 10, and I suspect we are going to hear about more.”
The whole situation involving children who have been separated by the Trump administration from their immigrant parents is sickening. Our nation has been cruel to these families in ways that must never be forgotten.
Even if this administration is able to rectify the crisis and deplorable treatment of families it separated at the southern border, they will never live down the legacy of having done so to begin with.