On Tuesday, Judge Dana Sabraw of the San Diego District Court has ordered the U.S. border authorities to reunite separated families within 30 days. Even though the Trump administration has signed an executive order on June 20 to keep families together, there were no actual step taken or instructions given on reuniting the families. Now, a hard deadline has been set. Children must be reunited with their parents in 30 days, children under the age of 5 must be reunified with their parents within 14 days and the government must provide phone contact between parents and their children within 10 days. Judge Sabraw has also issued a nationwide injunction on future family separation, unless the parent is deemed unfit or doesn’t want to be with the child.
The decision comes after 17 states, including New York and California, sued the Trump administration on Tuesday to force it to reunite children and parents. It is still unclear at this time how the border authorities can meet the deadline or what resources border patrol have at their disposal to bring the families of over 2000 caged children together. However, there are many civilian aid groups and public service groups that have banded together to help locate parents and children. For one, BuzzFeed News have partnered with ProPublica, the Intercept, Univision News, Animal Politico, and Plaza Publica to gather vital information about the children in immigration detention facilities and shelters. If you have information about a family that has been separated or a facility where children are being held, you can learn more about BuzzFeed’s crowdsource project here.
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