Hearing Scheduled Thursday In Family Separations Lawsuit

Published: Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 4:44pm
Updated: Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 6:31pm
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An independent federal investigator has said nobody knows how many migrant families were separated before last year’s zero-tolerance policy on the U.S.-Mexico border that led to court-ordered reunifications.

But the American Civil Liberties Union wants the reunification order expanded to include them all, and the two sides in an ongoing class-action lawsuit are due back in federal court in southern California on Thursday.

A government official said in court documents that it could take hundreds of thousands of hours to identify all migrant children separated from their parents.

Mark Greenberg, senior fellow for the Migration Policy Institute, a think-tank in Washington, D.C., used to work for the federal agency that takes custody of separated kids. He said it would be a lot of work to find them all.

“But it also seems fundamental that where the government has forcibly separated parent and child they should be able to tell parents where their children are,” Greenberg said. 

Another government official said in legal fillings that most children separated before zero tolerance are probably now with their families. They also said forced reunifications at this point could be traumatic for the kids.  

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