‘More than 700 migrant children remain in custody after being separated from their families despite a court order that they be reunited with relatives by Thursday evening.
In a court filing, the Trump administration said more than 1800 migrant children had been handed back to family members in time for a deadline set by a federal judge in San Diego.
That still leaves more than 700 children who were not “eligible” to be reunited, including 431 with parents who have already been deported.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the case against the government, said the data showed “dozens of separated children still have not been matched to a parent”.
And immigration campaigners said the government’s attempts to meet the deadline were characterised by confusion and risked leaving children in a “black hole”.
Maria Odom, vice president of legal services for Kids in Need of Defence, said two children who were represented by the group were sent from New York to Texas to be reunited with their mother. When they arrived, they learned their mother had already been deported, she said.
Her group now cannot find the children, aged 9 and 14.
It was an example, she added, “of how impossible it is to track these children once they are placed in the black hole of reunification.”‘