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Deadlines for reuniting separated kids with their families

Texas residents might be interested in developments from the immigration cases where children have been separated from their parents. A court established July 10 as a firm deadline for the return of 102 children under age 5 who were separated from undocumented immigrant parents. At a hearing on July 10, lawyers for the Justice Department said that only 38 of the 102 children would actually be reunited with their families by the end of that day; only four had rejoined their parents prior to the hearing.

Lawyers for the Department of Justice told the presiding judge that logistical issues were behind the failure to meet the deadline. Before the hearing began, representatives of the Trump administration told the judge that 16 children were ready to be returned, in addition to the 38, and need only wait until confirmation of their eligibility. The judge told the government that an update would be required on July 12, along with explanations as to why some children remained separated from their parents. Another deadline, for the return of 2,900 older children, looms on July 26.

A lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed the lawsuit, said the court was clear that business as usual will not be accepted here. The ACLU said in a court filing on July 10 that the government still hadn't attempted to reach parents who were deported from the U.S. without their children.

Talks under way in the U.S. Senate may result in a immigration bill narrowly designed to prevent the separation of families in the future. In these types of immigration cases, a lawyer with experience in immigration law may be able to help interested parties navigate the process of remaining in the country when seeking asylum.

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