SAN DIEGO — A federal court said the Trump administration must adhere to reunification deadlines for children forcibly separated from their parents or face possible punishment.

The American Civil Liberties Union won a June 26 preliminary injunction requiring reunification of children under 5 within 14 days (July 10) and all children within 30 days (July 26). During today’s status conference, U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw said:

  • The families were improperly separated, and he would not extend deadlines for reunification: "These are firm deadlines. They’re not aspirational goals."
  • DNA tests can only be performed when there is a genuine reason to doubt parentage or parentage cannot be established by any other means; samples must be destroyed after matches are made and cannot be added to a government database.
  • The government must take a "streamlined approach" for vetting and reunifying families.

Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project, said:

"The court could not have been clearer that business as usual is not acceptable. The Trump administration must get these children and parents reunited."

The parties will be back in court this Friday.

Case details are here: https://www.aclu.org/cases/ms-l-v-ice

More information is at: https://www.aclu.org/families-belong-together

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