The administration has until 26 July to reunite all of the more than 2,000 children who were separated from parents this spring and summer. Sabraw gave the Trump White House until Tuesday to reunite all children under the age of five with their parents, and ordered that the rest of the children must be unified with their parents by July 26.
As NPR's John Burnett explained Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services says it has hired 250 additional personnel in the sprint to comply with the court order.
Now the family detention system is at capacity - as are a network of about 100 shelters for migrant minors who traveled into the USA without parents or a guardian and who now wait anywhere from a few weeks to years to have their cases resolved in the immigration courts. They will be set free in the United States pending the outcome of their immigration cases, which can take several years.
"For (the parents) who were deported without their children, (government officials) have not even tried to contact them or facilitate their reunification by today", ACLU lawyers wrote.
Of those 75, Justice Department attorneys told the court the government already reunited four children and would guarantee 34 others would be back with their parents by the end of Tuesday. As of Sunday evening, however, the ACLU said the government was on track to reunite less than half of those with their families.
A federal judge told the Trump administration on Tuesday to lay off using some of its most stringent vetting procedures before reuniting families separated at the border.
"The judge made it very clear he wasn't going to allow the Trump administration to drag its feet on reunifying these children with their parents", Gelernt said.
Numerous separated children are fleeing violence in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen met with diplomats from those countries in Guatemala on Tuesday to discuss U.S. immigration policies.
The two sides revealed in a filing late Monday that they are far apart on protocols for reunification, with the government arguing its practices are necessary under federal law to ensure child safety and the ACLU contending that many are too cumbersome under the circumstances. "They want to punish these families who are here and deter others from coming". It noted that 20 of those parents were already deported, even though their children remain in USA government custody. An additional 20 children have purported parents with whom they can not be reunited because those adults have already been either removed from the United States or released into the country, which removes DHS and HHS's ability to force them to come get the children they claim are theirs. Levy said that one mother of a four-year-old was told by federal authorities to find a larger apartment if she wanted her son back. The first is to return to the Obama administration policy of releasing and monitoring families while they await deportation proceedings.
As the family separation process got underway, the obstacles that the government was setting up for itself became evident. There is still one child that the government has no parental information on.
Government lawyers said some reunions may not immediately be possible because parents have not been located or are still serving criminal sentences, such as for crossing the border illegally.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the case that led to Sabraw's initial injunction on behalf of migrant parents, said the court is "holding the Trump administration's feet to the fire" to accomplish reunification.