Donald Trump's "Zero Tolerance" policy has separated thousands of migrant children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border. The President has since signed an executive order that ended the policy.
A judge initially ruled that the Administration had 14 days to reunite the youngest children (under five years old) with their parents and 30 days to reunite all families. Only 58 of the 103 children under five had been reunited by the first deadline, and in a court filing last Friday, the administration outlined their plan for reuniting the remaining 2,551 migrant children with their families. This court filing also marks the first time that the government has disclosed exactly how many children are being held in custody.
Politico reports that the government has to reunite all children with their parents by July 26th. ICE will set up six to eight locations for families to be reunited. Parents will be interviewed for 15 minutes at these meeting points to ensure they are the correct guardians and that they want to reunite with their child.
This expedited process will hopefully lessen traumas faced by children who are being kept from their parents, but could potentially put children at risk, the Trump Administration argues. Chris Meekins, the chief of staff for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, said, "truncating of the vetting process... materially increases the risk that HHS will reunify a child with a parent who will abuse them."