A federal judge praised the Trump administration Friday for its efforts to reunite families separated at the nation’s southern border, calling it “a collaborative process that’s well underway.”
U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw said at a hearing that the administration has demonstrated “good faith” after largely complying with orders to reunite migrant families with children under five years old.
The administration was ordered to reunite all children by Tuesday but failed to do so by the deadline. The American Civil Liberties Union requested that the government be penalized but did not address the matter at the hearing, according to a USA Today report.
The administration disputed that characterization, saying it had reunified all 58 children under 5 who were eligible and that it complied with the judge’s order.
It acknowledged that 19 of the 58 children were reunified Wednesday, and one on Thursday — after the deadline — “for logistical reasons specific to each case.”
The administration initially provided a list of about 100 kids under 5 who were believed eligible for reunification by this week’s deadline but whittled down the list to fewer than 60 by Thursday.
It said parents of 11 children were excluded for their criminal histories and that seven turned out not to be parents. Others were determined to be a danger to the child.
Sabraw ordered the administration to provide a list of names of the remaining parents in immigration custody and their children by Monday and complete background checks for them by Thursday in order to meet the final deadline of July 26.
He also ordered that the information be handed over to the ACLU in advance of the reunifications.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.