Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Today is the LAST DAY of this Mid-Year Campaign. This is our hour of need.
If you value independent journalism, please support Common Dreams.

TODAY is the last day to meet our goal -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year.

Immigrant mothers and their children at the McAllen bus station in Texas on June 22, 2018. (Photo: Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune)

Judge Gives Trump Admin Six Months to Identify Thousands of Children It Ripped From Families

"The government was able to quickly gather resources to tear these children away from their families and now they need to gather the resources to fix the damage."

Jake Johnson

A federal judge on Thursday gave the Trump administration six months to identify potentially thousands of immigrant children it ripped from their families under the so-called "zero tolerance" border policy.

The Trump administration previously said it could take two years to identify the separated children, but U.S. District Court Judge Dana Sabraw sided with the ACLU, which sought the six-month deadline.

"This order shows that the court continues to recognize the gravity of this situation," Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project, said in a statement.

The immigrant rights coalition Families Belong Together applauded the judge's decision as "good news" and vowed to work to ensure the White House meets the October 25 deadline.

"The administration has failed to identify children and reunite families over and over again," Families Belong Together tweeted. "Our coalition will be holding Trump officials accountable to this new timeline."

The total number of children separated from their families under the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy is unknown, but it is estimated to be in the thousands.

As the Guardian reported, the Trump admininstration "will review about 47,000 cases of unaccompanied children in custody between July 1, 2017 and June 25, 2018—the day before Sabraw halted the general practice of separating families and ordered that children under government care at the time be reunited in 30 days. More than 2,700 children had been separated when Sabraw issued his June order."

The ACLU's Gelernt said earlier this month that the Trump White House's request for two years to identify all of the children it separated "reflects the administration's continuing refusal to treat these separations with the urgency they deserve."

"We are talking about the lives of children, potentially thousands of them," said Gelernt. "The government was able to quickly gather resources to tear these children away from their families and now they need to gather the resources to fix the damage."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

TODAY is the last day of our crucial Mid-Year Campaign and we might not make it without your help.
Who funds our independent journalism? Readers like you who believe in our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. No corporate advertisers. No billionaire founder. Our non-partisan, nonprofit media model has only one source of revenue: The people who read and value this work and our mission. That's it.
And the model is simple: If everyone just gives whatever amount they can afford and think is reasonable—$3, $9, $29, or more—we can continue. If not enough do, we go dark.

All the small gifts add up to something otherwise impossible. Please join us today. Donate to Common Dreams. This is crunch time. We need you now.

Texas Supreme Court Allows Century-Old Abortion Ban to Take Effect

"Extremist politicians are on a crusade to force Texans into pregnancy and childbirth against their will, no matter how devastating the consequences."

Jake Johnson ·


'What's There to Even Discuss?' Omar Says Free, Universal School Meals Should Be Permanent

"We have an opportunity to prove that a government of the people, by the people, and for the people can still deliver big things. And we can feed tens of millions of hungry kids while we do it."

Jake Johnson ·


'Stark Betrayal': Biden Administration Floats New Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling

"This is the third time since November the Biden administration has announced new oil and gas leasing plans on the Friday before a holiday," said one climate advocate. "They're ashamed, and they should be."

Jake Johnson ·


As US Rolls Back Reproductive Rights, Sierra Leone Moves to Decriminalize Abortion

"I'm hopeful today's announcement gives activists in the U.S., and especially Black women given the shared history, a restored faith that change is possible and progress can be made."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Indefensible': Outrage as New Reporting Shines Light on Biden Deal With McConnell

The president has reportedly agreed to nominate an anti-abortion Republican to a lifetime judgeship. In exchange, McConnell has vowed to stop blocking two Biden picks for term-limited U.S. attorney posts.

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo