On Monday, July 16, a federal judge temporarily froze deportations of parents and children separated at the border, dealing another blow to Trump’s deportation pathway.
U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw issued a stay on the deportations until at least July 23, pending further briefing.
At a hearing last week, Sabraw grilled Chris Meekins, the Deputy Assistant Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary for Preparedness and Response, for the government’s failure to reunite more than half of the first group of separated children with their parents.
A Department of Justice attorney, Sarah Fabian, attempted to argue that a stay could affect reunifying families because of “limited immigration detention space.” But, Sabraw blasted back, saying that “If space is an issue, then the government will have to make space.”
By July 10, under the mandate of a judge’s order, the federal government was supposed to reunite the first group of children, but fell short by half, bringing together only 57 of the 103 children under 5 years old, the New York Times reported.
As of last week, Newsday wrote, among the children not yet reunited was a 4-year-old girl residing at the Long Island MercyFirst shelter, which is caring for 10 immigrant children separated from their parents.
The rest of the children must be reunited with their families by July 26.