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Deadline for Trump Administration to reunify families separated at the border

There’s a scramble going on at federal immigration detention centers and temporary shelters in California and border states to meet a court-ordered deadline to reunite migrant families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border when they came across illegally.

The Trump Administration says it will meet the Thursday deadline to reunite an estimated 1,600 parents deemed eligible to be reconnected with their children.

The reunification of migrant parents and children has ramped up in recent weeks to meet the deadline.

Family separations taking place when the Trump Administration began enforcing “zero tolerance” prosecutions of people crossing the border illegally.

“If we have 1,600 families back together by the 26 th (July), it doesn’t excuse what the government did, but we are going to be enormously pleased that children are back in their parents’ arms”, said ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt on Wednesday.

More than 1,000 migrant families have already been reunited but hundreds more will not be.

That’s because parents either have not been located or are considered ineligible for reunification due to a criminal history, medical issues or pose a potential threat to a child.

“The government is planting this narrative that a lot of parents chose to be deported without their kids”, said Efren Olivares with the Texas Civil Rights Project, “I believe that’s because they deported a lot of parents without their kids.”

Other immigrant advocates claim some parents signed away their right to stay in the U.S. with their children and seek asylum without understanding what they were signing because they speak indigenous languages and cannot read English or Spanish.

Advocates and relatives of separated families on the Central Coast are watching the July 26 reunification deadline closely with local group Call to Action holding a vigil Thursday night in Santa Barbara.

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