HOUSTON — Fourteen days are up! Back in June, a federal judge ordered that by July 10, unless reunification is not in the best interest of the child, a child under 5 years old that was separated from their parents at the U.S. - Mexico border, must be reunited with their parents.
The Department of Justice produced a list of 102 immigrant children under the age of 5 who were separated from adults at the border. And as dozens of kids are reunited today, by the Trump administration, dozens more are still being detained.
“Right now, today, he has failed to meet the court ordered standards of reuniting all of the children under 5,” Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee decried at a gathering of faith and community leaders.
And even though that deadline won't be met, the ACLU, which brought the lawsuit before the court, does not expect to see the administration face any consequences.
"I think we're a long way from the court saying, 'I’m going to sanction the government.' I think now he feels like the government is working good-faith finally working to get this reunification done. We're hoping that's right and it moves forward,” says Lee Gelernt, the ACLU’s attorney.
President Donald Trump had a message for the media, at the White House before leaving for the NATO summit in Brussels.
“Well I have a solution, tell people not to come to our country illegally. That's the solution. Don't come to our country illegally. Come like other people do, come legally,” Trump told reporters.
Jackson Lee calls for the Trump administration, from the State Department to Health and Human Services, to be more transparent with the reuniting process, and to report to congress how children and their parents are being tracked throughout this process.
“I would like to hold these individuals in contempt of congress if they do not fulfill their responsibilities,” Jackson Lee said.
The July 10 deadline is not the last.
The federal judge also ordered the Trump administration to reunite another 2,000 kids by July 26. The clock is ticking.