LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A federal choose stated on Tuesday the U.S. authorities appeared on monitor to reunite by a Thursday deadline many of the households separated on the U.S.-Mexican border as a part of the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” towards unlawful immigration.

The choose, nevertheless, postpone deciding on a petition by civil rights teams to postpone deporting any of the dad and mom for seven days after they get their youngsters again. A brief order presently bars deportations of the households till the matter is resolved.

U.S. District Choose Dana Sabraw, who final month gave federal immigration officers till Thursday to return some 2,500 youngsters to their dad and mom, recommended them on Tuesday for the “exceptional achievement” of getting largely completed that process.

In late June, President Donald Trump ended the follow of splitting up households after audio and video of youngsters wailing and sitting in cages sparked worldwide outrage.

As of Monday, at the least 879 dad and mom had been reunited with their youngsters, in line with a joint court docket submitting by the federal government and the American Civil Liberties Union.

One other 463 dad and mom had been now not in the US however their youngsters had been right here, and it was unclear when these households could be reunited. The federal government couldn’t say whether or not they had been deported or left voluntarily.

Youngsters below 5 had been reunited with their dad and mom earlier this month, though the federal government missed a court-ordered deadline for doing so.

The reunification course of has been marred by disarray inside state and federal authorities companies and issue monitoring adults and kids in detention.

Choose Sabraw postponed till Friday ruling on a movement by the ACLU asking that deportations be delayed.

The ACLU stated in court docket papers that the time was crucial for the dad and mom to contemplate authorized choices for his or her youngsters, who is likely to be higher off remaining in the US to pursue asylum. Many of the dad and mom fled violence in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

Dad and mom with a closing order of removing already get 48 hours to determine in the event that they need to be reunified and return dwelling as a household, or go away their little one in the US, the federal government stated in a court docket submitting on Tuesday.

The federal government additionally stated that Sabraw lacked the authority to dam the federal government from finishing up removing orders.

Sabraw stated he wanted further info on the standing of fogeys and kids awaiting deportation earlier than ruling.

The difficulty sparked a pointy trade between attorneys for the 2 sides, with an ACLU lawyer claiming that the additional time was wanted partly as a result of “issues on the bottom are a large number.”

Scott Stewart, an lawyer for the U.S. Division of Justice, stated that authorities attorneys had labored exhausting to adjust to the court docket’s orders, and “we now have many causes to be proud.”

FILE PHOTO: Immigrant youngsters stroll in single file on the facility close to the Mexican border in Tornillo, Texas, June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Modifying by Sue Horton, Lisa Shumaker, Noeleen Walder, Susan Thomas, Toni Reinhold

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