Judge Makes Ruling in Child Reunification Effort

Starting earlier this year, the Trump administration began what it called a zero-tolerance policy regarding those who were crossing into the United States illegally. When parents crossed over the border with their children, the children and the parents were separated with the adults being taken to detention centers while the children were placed in separate facilities designated for their care. After an outcry against this policy of child separation, President Trump reversed the child separation policy.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed numerous lawsuits in federal court seeking to have the children reunited with their parents as quickly as possible. One federal judge ruled that the children under five years old had to be reunited with their parents by July 10. Children over the age of five are required to be reunited with their parent by July 26.

The reunification of children with their parents has hit a snag, and the ACLU was back in court this week challenging another policy by the Trump administration. In some cases, parents who were seeking to be reunited with their children where being asked to pay the reunification costs before the children would be returned. In one case that was documented, this would have been approximately a $1900 fee to the parents.

On Friday, US District Judge Dana Sabraw ruled that the parents of separated children will not have to pay anything to be reunited with their children. She is the same judge the ruled on when the children must be reunited with their parents.

Representatives of the Trump administration argued that it was too much to ask for the government to have to pay the fees for 2,000 or more children that must be reunited. The judge simple said that it will happen.

The Trump administration is also balking over the speed at which the judge ordered reunifications to take place. The Trump administration argues that they do not have the time to make sure that children are being reunited with the correct people.

The judge has of yet not reversed or extended the timelines that she has imposed. The ACLU has stated that it will take further legal actions regarding this matter should circumstances warrant.

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