With more than a month having passed since the federal court-ordered deadline for the Trump administration to reunite separated families, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) on Friday denounced as "government-sanctioned child abuse" the fact that there are still nearly 500 children in government custody.
"It's a violation of human rights. And it's another stain on our nation's soul."
—Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.)Court documents (pdf) filed Thursday show that there are still 497 children in custody, 22 of whom are under five. Three hundred twenty-two of them have parents who've already been deported.
All children were supposed to have been reunited by July 26; those under five were supposed to have been reunited by July 10.
"The deadline for reuniting families was FIVE weeks ago, but hundreds of children are still separated from their parents," Lee tweeted Friday. "This is government sanctioned child abuse. It's a violation of human rights. And it's another stain on our nation's soul."
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The ACLU, which filed suit to stop the administration's family separation policy, noted the continuing humanitarian disaster as well:
Reminder: This deadline was not arbitrary. It was court ordered.— ACLU (@ACLU) August 31, 2018
And this administration failed to meet it. pic.twitter.com/MbH1ne7RG1
In another tweet last week, the organization highlighted the plight of one of the families swept affected by the policy. "The consequences of family separation will far out-last this administration," the ACLU noted.