Court papers filed late last week show that according to the government's most recent estimates, close to 500 children, including 22 under the age of 5, remain in US custody after being separated from their parents at the border earlier this year pursuant to the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy. The greatest logistical challenge that government officials and immigrants' rights advocates have faced in reuniting many of these children with their families is that their parents were deported without them, and are now proving difficult if not impossible to locate.
In a federal court in Boston, US District Judge Mark Wolf has stated that immigrants with final orders of removal should not be deported just because they are in the process of applying for a green card. The judge indicated that he was not precluding ICE from effectuating removals, but said that the agency can only do so in these cases after considering that the individuals with deportation orders are also seeking "provisional waivers," which permit undocumented immigrants to pursue citizenship.
In a joint status report filed last week, the Department of Justice provided its most detailed figures to date regarding the status of migrant children who were separated from their parents at the border this year under the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy, stating that 24 children under the age of 5 remain separated. Under the policy, the administration separated more than 2,600 children from their parents, and reports that over 360 parents who are still separated are outside the country, with many having been deported without their children.
Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the US District Court for the District of Columbia halted the deportation in progress of a mother and daughter this week, and threatened to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt due to the fact that court proceedings appealing their deportation were in progress. An attorney for the ACLU, which filed a lawsuit on August 7, 2018 challenging the Department of Justice's recent policy change that aims to fast track the removal of asylum seekers who do not pass their credible fear interviews, and eliminates gang and domestic violence as grounds for seeking asylum in the US, received a notice in the middle of a hearing on the case before Judge Sullivan that the mother and daughter were on a deportation flight to El Salvador.
Judge Denies Trump Administration’s Request to Make ACLU Responsible for Reuniting Deported Parents With Separated Children
Judge Dana Sabraw strongly rejected the Trump Administration's recent argument that the ACLU and other immigrants' rights advocates should be responsible for locating the more than 450 immigrant parents the administration deported after separating them from their children earlier this year. The judge said it is "100%" the government's responsibility to locate and reunite deported parents with their children, and stated that if it fails to do so, it will have "permanently orphaned" the children it separated from them.
In a status update filed Monday, the federal government informed the court that has ordered it to reunite over 2,500 separated children with their parents by July 26 in a class action filed by the ACLU seeking reunification of separated immigrant families, that over 460 parents of separated children over the age of 5 may have already been deported without their children. The government has continued to state that any parent who has left the country had the opportunity to bring their child with them, but advocacy groups question whether parents deported under those circumstances understood their options.
In October, Canada is set to legalize the recreational use of marijuana nationwide. Legalization theoretically could mean that American consumers could cross the border to consume marijuana in Canada and possibly bring it back to the U.S., but in reality this is unlikely to happen, at least for now. While some states…
As often happens in June, the Supreme Court released some of its most highly anticipated decisions of the term (many of them decided 5–4 along predictable divisions). This year was no different.
A group of 18 attorneys general has filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration regarding the separation of families at the border. The Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy has been under strict scrutiny by Democrats as it has resulted in the separation of children and parents. The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington and argues that the separation of children and parents is discriminatory and violates equal protection under the Constitution. The complaint also states that the act of separating families is the Trump Administration's means of deterring immigrants from entering the United States.
The zero tolerance immigration policy that has led to separating refugee parents from children at the U.S.-Mexico border faces its first legal challenge from a Guatemalan asylee.