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Judge Appears Set to Demand Full “Accounting” of Thousands More Separated Kids

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On Thursday, Judge Dana Sabraw held what could be the most consequential hearing in months in the family separation case Ms. L v. Ice, which has resulted in the identification and reunification of more than 2,000 separated children with their parents. The new developments could lead to the identification of thousands of more separated children, or a bitter court fight over whether the Trump administration has the responsibility to account for them.

An inspector general’s report last month revealed that potentially thousands more children were separated from their families than previously acknowledged by the government. The ACLU, which is leading the lawsuit, quickly asked for the government to identify those separated children for possible reunification. The court’s initial reunification order has only been applied to children who were in Office of Refugee Resettlement care at the time Sabraw’s preliminary injunction was sent down on June 26, 2018. The government filed a response to the ACLU’s motion saying that it would be too difficult to find the additional kids it separated, and that reunification would be potentially traumatic because it would involve ICE raiding homes where these children have been placed.

The government has seemed to have dropped that latest argument, acceding to the fact that reuniting children could be done—as it has been throughout the course of the lawsuit—with the help of........

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