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The American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the lawsuit that led to Sabraw's court order, said on Wednesday it did now know if the government had met the deadline for the youngest children. But make no mistake about it: "the government missed the deadline even for these 57 children", lawyer Lee Gelernt said.

Ten of the children were ineligible for family reunification because their parent was in the "custody of U.S. Marshals Service" or "state or county custody".

The government was holding 103 children under 5 years old who were separated from their parents, but Department of Justice lawyers have been negotiating with the judge to carve out exceptions.

The government missed a federal judge's initial deadline of Tuesday to have all children under 5 reunited with parents. In the case of those ages 5 and up-at least 2,000 minors-the Administration was given until July 26.

Catholic Charities, which helped place some of the children in shelter facilities after their separation, held a news briefing in NY at which a handful of the reunited parents expressed relief after weeks of anxiety over the separations.

Officials told reporters that the 46 children deemed ineligible for reunification will remain in USA custody until they're placed with a family member or HHS-approved sponsor. "Our position is the court has the authority to order the release of the parents in this case and reunify them with their children".

Officials said on Thursday that 22 children were unable be reunited with the adults that brought them illegally across the USA border due to safety concerns.

Catholic Charities, which helped place some of the children in shelter facilities after their separation, held a news briefing in NY at which a handful of the reunited parents expressed relief after weeks of anxiety over the separations.

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"He was happy. I was happy", she said. "I will never be separated from him, no matter what", said a tearful Javier, a 30-year-old from Honduras, who was reunited with his 4-year-old son after 55 days of detention.

Garrido Martinez said they were "the worst days" of his life.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the White House's planned crackdown on immigration on May 7 - warning would-be immigrants that "If you cross the border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you".

The filing noted that the government is unable to find some of the parents of the children taken and sent to detention centers, including one case where all involved are actually USA citizens.

"These individuals had the opportunity to take the child with them when they were removed in the first place", Albence said.

In Grand Rapids, the children were "absolutely thrilled to be with their parents again". In some cases, for example, they will use DNA tests to guarantee parental relationships they can not otherwise confirm. Immigration attorneys say they already are seeing barriers to those reunifications from a backlog in the processing of fingerprinting of parents to families unable to afford the airfare to fly the child to them - which could run as high as $1,000.

A spokesperson for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in an email to CBS News that the child's parent is not now in ICE custody.

The reunions are expected to be carried out in secret or secure locations, with parents taken from the detention centers where they have been held and children brought from federal shelters or foster homes. Another five families will likely be reunited after Tuesday, once the background check process is completed. They will be set free in the United States pending the outcome of their immigration cases, which can take several years. But the Trump administration has similarly struggled with deterring waves of migrants from Central and South America - and, once they enter the country, processing them through the legal system humanely.


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