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US Using DNA Testing In Effort To Reunite Families It Separated

US Using DNA Testing In Effort To Reunite Families It Separated

The agency is now reviewing the cases of all 11,800 children in its custody to determine whether they were separated from caregivers.

The ACLU sued in March on behalf of a Congolese woman who was separated from her daughter for five months after seeking asylum at a San Diego border crossing and a Brazilian asylum-seeker who has been separated from her son since an arrest for illegal entry in August near the Texas-New Mexico border.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar released a new estimate Thursday that fewer than 3,000 children remained in their care likely who were separated from their parents, but he said analysis was ongoing and he could not provide a more precise figure. On June 26, the agency said there were 2,047 such children. "It's outrageous. The government has a choice here and that choice is to release people on bond and then reunification could happen immediately". "Parents have a choice" when they're removed from the country to leave their children behind, he said.

Gelernt also told Judge Sabraw that based on reports he has received from attorneys on the ground, there are more immigrant children under five years old who were separated from their parents than the 102 identified by the Trump administration. The ACLU and government are now working together to reunite the families.

Here's why that particular statistic matters: It's the only figure officials have provided that gives us any indication of whether reunions are happening.

The humanitarian crisis caused by Donald Trump's "zero tolerance" immigration policy has resulted in thousands of young children being separated from their parents at the border and relocated to hastily constructed and poorly managed prison camps around the country. The government has not answered questions about the circumstances of their release.

Numerous numbers are still in flux.

Only about 101 children under age five are in the care of Office of Refugee Resettlement, according to the government.

The filing contained a description of steps undertaken by Health and Human Services to comply with the court order including deploying 115 additional personnel to the field, and contracting with 100 reunification managers who are deploying Friday and Saturday.

But Azar portrayed the process as orderly and disputed accusations that the Trump administration has failed to account for some minors.

"To our knowledge, this is a cheek swab and is being done to expedite parental verification and ensuring reunification with verified parents due to child welfare concerns", one official told CNN. Its database has some information about the children's parents but wasn't created to reunify families under the court's deadline. He scheduled another hearing for Tuesday morning.

US officials on Thursday said that while they believe they're in compliance with "all aspects" of the order, they want the deadlines modified because government agencies - including the Department of Health and Human Services - are following "time-consuming" procedures like weekslong evaluations of homes where the children would be placed.

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