A California federal judge ordered the Trump administration Tuesday to reunite all migrant families separated by the government within a 30-day deadline.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California Judge Dana Sabraw also required the government to provide phone calls between parents and children within 10 days and required children younger than 5 to be reunified with a parent or guardian within 14 days. Sabraw also issued a nationwide ban on separating families in the future unless the parent is found to present a significant risk to the child’s welfare.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said Tuesday that it has custody of 2,047 unaccompanied children at government-contracted shelters.
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the chief executive officer of the nation’s largest shelter for migrant children said he is “ready now” to begin reuniting hundreds of children with their parents.
Juan Sanchez of Southwest Key Programs said his nonprofit organization has located many of the children’s parents who were arrested and placed into immigration proceedings after illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Sanchez said that as the opportunity arises, his teams will work quickly to reunite the separated families.
“We’re ready today,” said Sanchez, who told the AP he had initially been fearful of a lengthy reunion process.