Federal Judge Orders Government to Reunite Separated Families
Even as the Supreme Court announces its support for the infamous “Muslim Ban,” a federal judge in San Diego ruled Tuesday that the administration must reunite all immigrant children separated from their parents in the next 30 days.
Judge Dana Sabraw of San Diego has ordered the government to reunite all children under the age of 5 with their parents within 14 days and all children 5 years and older within the next 30 days.
Unfortunately, the ruling does not require the administration to stop its policy of prosecuting people for crossing the border.
There are still more than 2,000 immigrant children currently in detention, and many of their parents have already been deported.
Although Sabraw’s ruling is certainly helpful and undoubtedly necessary, it doesn’t make up for the fact that the administration doesn’t have a plan or methodology for reuniting these families.
Sabraw can tell the government that they have a timeline, but if there are no resources or plans to meet that deadline, what does it really mean?
The lack of any concrete plan for reunification makes it highly likely that the administration will appeal this decision on the grounds that they need more time to formulate a strategy, which could result in an indefinite delay for these families who have already been waiting weeks or months to see one another again.
And as health officials across the country have pointed out, every day that they spend in detention, the more psychologically traumatized they become.
“There is enormous coercion going on. The mothers and fathers are willing to do almost anything to see their children again. And that’s exactly what the administration’s plan was: stop people from coming over here, because the word would get out, “You’ll lose your children.” And if you actually get here, even if you have a legitimate asylum claim, they want you to give it up so that you can see your children again. It’s as bad as anything I’ve ever seen.” — Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project
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