Toddlers reunited with parents as Congress debates immigration
by Harvest Prude
Posted 7/12/18, 01:15 pm
The Trump administration announced Thursday that all eligible young immigrant children had been reunited with their parents. But 46 children under 5 remained in government custody due to safety concerns or their parents’ being deported or imprisoned. “There remains a tremendous amount of hard work and similar obstacles facing our teams in reuniting the remaining families,” the departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services said in a joint statement. In June, U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego issued a Tuesday deadline to reunite children younger than 5 with their parents and a July 26 deadline for older children. Sabraw is scheduled to hold a court hearing Friday morning to decide whether the government’s action satisfies the court’s demands.
Meanwhile, Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee rejected several Democratic proposals Wednesday that would have weakened President Donald Trump’s zero tolerance policy for illegal border crossings, but proposed their own plans including one imposing a $100,000-a-day fine if children were not speedily reunited with parents or sponsors and another extending the current 20-day limit on detaining minors so that families can stay together. Democrats advocate releasing families until their court date, saying that holding parents and children in custody is cruel.
The House rejected two immigration bills last month, and the Senate turned down three plans in February. Some senators are discussing a bipartisan measure to tackle family separation but have not yet produced a plan.
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.