A federal judge has delayed the deadline for ICE to release detained children. On July 16, a federal judge extended the deadline for ICE to comply with an order to release detained children. District Judge Gee extended the deadline by 10 days after government lawyers said they needed “more time” and that both sides were engaged in “discussions.” Many advocates are concerned that ICE’s interpretation of the order will lead to more family separations, since ICE’s position is that it does not need to release parents with their children. Before the deadline was extended, ICE was requiring parents in detention to choose between keeping their children in detention with them or releasing them to outside guardians. The order applies to the three detention centers in the U.S. which house detained families, which are located in Texas and Pennsylvania.
Border expulsions of migrant children continue. Despite laws protecting unaccompanied and underage migrant children from speedy deportations, just 4% of children apprehended by CBP in June were transferred to the Office of Refugee Resettlement. The rest were deported under an unprecedented health directive that was issued in March; the directive orders CBP to expel most apprehended migrants, regardless of whether they are asylum seekers. The ACLU is currently challenging the expulsion of migrant children in court. CBP has not made public the number of children apprehended and expelled since June 25, but the health directive is still in place.
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