Ed Note: in the report below from Politico, they often use the term deported, INS is apparently using the term in responding to the judge, It is not clear if these family members were deported, or did they sign a Voluntary Departure and accept removal in order to allow access to their separated children.
In a federal courtroom on Tuesday night, attorneys representing the Trump administration told U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw that it has not yet identified the parents of nearly 40 of the separated migrant children in custody, and has not yet located and contact hundreds more. Of the more than 460 parents it says are no longer in the United States, it was unable to say how many were forcibly deported and how many signed “voluntary removal” papers, and how many were deported with their children versus alone.
REUNIFICATION OF DEPORTED PARENTS: "A federal judge ordered the Trump administration Tuesday to provide better information about migrant parents who may have been deported after they were separated from their children at the border," POLITICO's Ted Hesson reports. The Justice Department said in a court filing Monday that 463 of the parents were not in the United States. The group remains 'under review,' but could include parents who were deported or who agreed to depart the country without their child, DOJ attorney Sarah Fabian said in court Tuesday.
U.S. District Court Judge Dana Sabraw "ordered the Trump administration to provide lists by Wednesday of parents who were deported; who were released into the United States; and who waived reunification with their child after being split from them," POLITICO reports. "He added that the administration should note when it's unsure of a parent's whereabouts." Sabraw called the potentially errant information "a deeply troubling reality of the case" but demanded that the administration face that reality. "The sooner the plaintiffs have all that information, they can hopefully locate them and then a reunification can be in process down the road," he said.
"The chiding came as the Trump administration approaches a Thursday deadline — issued by Sabraw in late June — to reunify parents who were separated from children ages 5 to 17 at the border," Hesson reports. "The administration appears on track to reconnect 1,637 parents with their children by Thursday. The court's focus will then shift to the fate of 914 parents who are judged ineligible to join their children or who are 'not yet known to be eligible' — a group that includes deported parents."
Whether the Trump administration has developed any processes to reunite deported parents with their children in the U.S. remains unclear. Lee Gelernt, an attorney with ACLU, which represents the plaintiffs in the class-action suit, noted Tuesday that even if the administration completes reunifications of all the parents it deems "eligible" by Thursday, that won't include deported parents and those it can't find. He added that the "eligible" list is based on administration decisions that are "unilateral" and "unchecked."
What's next: The ACLU will file a reply brief by 3 p.m. EDT (noon PDT) related to its motion last week to delay deportations of reunited parents by seven days. Both parties submit a status report Thursday and will be back in court Friday. Read more here.
Related read: "'What we were suffering for': Separated, then reunited, immigrant families face what comes next," from Michael Miller in the Washington Post. Find it here.