All migrant children under 5 will be reunified with parents by Thursday

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ACLU lawyers said that regardless of the reunifications, the government missed the court-ordered deadline of Tuesday and would be deciding how to address the non-compliance with the court. "I am optimistic that many of these families will be reunited by tomorrow and we will have a clear understanding of who has been reunited and the reasons for not reuniting others".

The Trump administration said Thursday it had reunited the bulk of the youngest migrant children separated from their parents at the border, but dozens still remain ineligible for reunification.

U.S. Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego had ordered the government to reunite the children under the age of 5 by Tuesday and all separated children by July 26. The court has also required the administration to reunite the much larger group of older children by July 26.

The US administration will not meet a July 10 deadline to reunite all children under the age of five with their families.

Soon after the policy was announced, images of children in cages and audio of toddlers crying as they were separated from their parents sparked widespread public outrage, including from the Republican Party and Christian conservatives.

One immigration advocate told Reuters she was still awaiting details on when officials would return two children younger than 5 to their parents. More than 2,500 kids were taken from their parents so the adults could be prosecuted for illegally crossing the border ― and, before the court order, the government often declined to put the families back together even after criminal proceedings were completed.

He also said that the parents will be given the option to have their child sent to them but would not be brought back to see them.

Catholic Charities, which helped place some of the children in shelter facilities after their separation, held a news briefing in NY at which a handful of the reunited parents expressed relief after weeks of anxiety over the separations.

Although President Trump's executive order supposedly puts a stop to the family separation practice, documents newly obtained by Slate show the HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement has begun discussing the possibility of a "surge" in child separations, with officials proposing the financial implications of an additional "25,400 beds for immigrant minors by the end of the calendar year".

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If in fact 57 children have been reunited because of the lawsuit, we could not be more happy for those families.

At a bus station in Phoenix on Tuesday night, a 22-year-old woman who only gave her first name, Gisela, for safety concerns, said she had been apart from her 4-year-old son for over a month after presenting herself at a port of entry in Texas to seek asylum.

Garrido Martinez said they were "the worst days" of his life. "I never imagined that this would happen".

"Trying to find out", said Lee Gelernt, an ACLU attorney, wrote in an email.

"These individuals had the opportunity to take the child with them when they were removed in the first place", said Matthew Albence, an official with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Fabian said another 12 have parents in state or federal prison. But the Trump administration has similarly struggled with deterring waves of migrants from Central and South America - and, once they enter the country, processing them through the legal system humanely.

Sabraw agreed that not all 103 children could be reunited and that certain cases are too complicated to complete within his deadlines. "I just want to say that whatever the court does, we are engaging in an exercise to uphold the law".

ACLU lawyers took issue with the remaining 16. Physicians and others blasted the policy and warned about lasting psychological damage to children and parents.

In a court hearing on Tuesday, Sabraw said he wouldn't extend the reunification deadline and that 63 other families should be reunited soon after Tuesday, The Huffington Post reported.

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