Today's the deadline to reunite separated families

By Meg Wagner and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 8:14 p.m. ET, July 26, 2018
16 Posts
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6:50 p.m. ET, July 26, 2018

More than 700 children will remain separated from their parents

From CNN’s Tal Kopan

As a court-ordered deadline to reunite all families the Trump administration separated at the border elapsed, one in three children still remained away from their parents, with no clear indication when they would be reunited.

According to a court filing, the government has reunited 1,442 families with children aged 5 and older by late Thursday.

The government says an additional 378 children have already been released under "appropriate circumstances," according to the court filing. This includes...

  • Children released to another family member or friend who can care for them.
  • Children who were released to parents already out of government custody.
  • Those who have turned 18.

But there are more than 700 children still left in government custody, unable to be reunited with their parents any time soon.

The deadline marks the closing of one chapter of the case, in which US District Court Judge Dana Sabraw ruled the government's practice of separating families for weeks and months at a time was inhumane and unconstitutional.

5:48 p.m. ET, July 26, 2018

ACLU: Trump administration is "picking and choosing who is eligible for reunification"

The American Civil Liberties Union just issued a statement about today's deadline to reunite migrant families separated at the US border.

Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, accused the Trump administration of "picking and choosing who is eligible for reunification."

Read Gelernt's full statement:

“These parents and children have lost valuable time together that can never be replaced. We’re thrilled for the families who are finally reunited, but many more remain separated. The Trump administration is trying to sweep them under the rug by unilaterally picking and choosing who is eligible for reunification. We will continue to hold the government accountable and get these families back together.”
4:28 p.m. ET, July 26, 2018

Organizations are expecting calls for help from desperate parents after deadline passes

Organizations on the ground are expecting to hear from hundreds of desperate parents, who were deported without their children, after today's deadline passes, CNN's Rosa Flores reported.

Their children, she said, are being held in shelters across the US. While they've able to talk with their children, their internet or phone signals are often weak.

"It's very difficult for these families as they grapple with the fact that they are not reunited with their children yet and their children are in a shelter somewhere in the United States," Flores said.

3:47 p.m. ET, July 26, 2018

These "Angry Tias and Abuelas" are protesting in Texas

Protesters rallied in the border town of McAllen, Texas, today as the 6 p.m. deadline for the US government to reunite families separated at the US border nears. Among them is a group called "Angry Tias and Abuelas" — which means aunts and grandmothers.

The group — which started after the Trump administration began its zero-tolerance immigration policy — gathered at a McAllen bus station. There, they helped immigrant families read bus tickets.

2:27 p.m. ET, July 26, 2018

Why more than 900 parents won't be reunited with their kids today

From CNN's Holly Yan

The US government faces a 6 p.m. deadline today to reunite all families that were separated at the border under President Trump's zero-tolerance immigration policy.

But as many as 914 parents won't be reunited with their children this week, the government said.

There are several reasons why:

  • In some cases, the parents can't be found
  • Some parents have serious criminal records.
  • Other parents have already been deported without their children.
  • A small number of parents haven't even been identified in the federal system — let alone tracked down.
12:50 p.m. ET, July 26, 2018

A bunch of kids protested family separations on Capitol Hill

Win McNamee/Getty Images
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Protesters and their children held a sit-in in the Hart Senate Office Building this morning to mark the court-ordered deadline for the Trump administration to reunify migrant families separated at the border

Many of the children wore shirts that read "I am a child," and the group put a banner on the ground with the slogan:

Win McNamee/Getty Images
Win McNamee/Getty Images

12:28 p.m. ET, July 26, 2018

No one really knows what will happen if the US misses its deadline today

From CNN's Holly Yan and Tal Kopan

US officials are scrambling to reunite hundreds of parents and children by the end of the day.

But the big question still lingering is: What happens if the government fails to reunite all families who are eligible for reunification?

The short answer: No one really knows.

The American Civil Liberties Union -- which is suing the government on behalf of some families separated at the border -- hasn't requested a specific punishment if officials miss the deadline, which falls at 6 p.m. ET today. The federal judge overseeing the case hasn't mentioned any specific consequences, either.

But there are some clues on what might happened if we look at the last time the administration missed its deadline:

11:10 a.m. ET, July 26, 2018

Kamala Harris: "Their children are our children"

Sen. Kamala Harris, a Democrat from California, just addressed demonstrators gathered at the US Capitol to protest the Trump administration's immigration policy that led to family separations.

She said many families that cross the border into the US are simply looking for a better life.

"We have always stood for the promise that we will be someone, we will be that country that will embrace you and protect you when you flee harm," she said. "So let's fight for the best of who we are and for the ideals of our county."

"Their children are our children," she added. "And we're going to do everything we can to make sure these families are reunified."

Watch more:

10:56 a.m. ET, July 26, 2018

Texas protesters are chanting "the community is furious" in Spanish

A group of protesters has gathered in the border town of McAllen, Texas, where CNN's Rosa Flores is reporting.

"This literally just popped up moments before our live shot," she said.

The protesters are carrying flags and signs, and they're chanting "el pueblo está furioso," which means "the community is furious," Flores said.

Watch more: