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Feds Reunite More Than 1,800 Migrant Kids Before Deadline

Thursday was the court ordered deadline for the federal government to finish returning separated children to their migrant parents.

With hours to go before the deadline, federal officials said they were on-track to reunite kids with all eligible parents being held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

“We’ve been running 24/7 at many of our detention facilities to help facilitate the reunifications,” said Matt Albence, executive associate director of ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations.

The government said it has reunited more than 1,800 hundred children, but there are still hundreds of parents and guardians who the government said are not eligible to be reunified with their kids. They include parents already deported and ones with criminal histories.

“There are [also] approximately 40 children for whom the government does not even know the identity of the parent,” said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. “There are other parents in the U.S. who the government hasn’t been able to contact.”

The ACLU got a court order that gave the government 30 days to reunite migrant families. Lawyers for the advocacy group and the U.S. government are due back in court Friday afternoon.

Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.