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38 immigrant kids expected to have been reunited with parents after separation by end of Tuesday

Instead, a Justice Department attorney told the judge that 54 of those children would be reunited with their parents on Tuesday.

Federal officials on Tuesday said they are continuing to do DNA tests on children and their purported parents, as well as conducting background checks to ensure that the actual parents are getting the kids, and that the parents who want the children are safe to do so.

Fourteen children have been determined ineligible for reunification because either the people who claimed to be their parents are not actually their parents, or have a serious criminal history, according to the court filing.

A senior Health and Human Services Department official on Tuesday said a rapist, a kidnapper, and an accused murderer are among the parents who have been denied reunification with their separated kids after their backgrounds were checked.

“Our priority is the safety of these kids,” said that official, Chris Meekins, chief of staff of HHS’ office of the assistant secretary for preparedness and response.

Ten other children are not eligible for reunification because their parents are in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service or are in state or county custody, the filing said.

Two children cannot be reunified with their parents at the current time because one of those kids’ parents has a communicable disease, and the other does not have a suitable living condition.

The judge, Dana Sabraw, agreed to extend the deadline, but asked government lawyers to give an update on the reunification effort on Tuesday.

On Monday, another federal judge, in Los Angeles rejected a request by the Trump administration to alter a 21-year-old legal settlement in order to keep immigrant families who are seeking asylum locked up together pending the outcome of immigration proceedings.

That settlement bars the federal government from keeping immigrant children in a detention facility for longer than 20 days.

source : www.cnbc.com