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US reunites some under-5 migrants with parents, dozens still in limbo

AFP  |  Washington 

US officials have reunited 57 children under age five with their parents who the border without authorization, but nearly four dozen remain separated beyond a court-ordered deadline, the said today.

The administration has faced domestic and international outcry over its announced "zero tolerance" policy of arresting all those who cross the border illegally, and separating parents from the children they brought with them.

The US has been under intense pressure to reunite nearly 3,000 children with their families.

A ordered the reunification of all children under five with their families by July 10.

But of the 103 children in that category, just 57 have been reunited, the (DHS) and (HHS) said.

The remaining 46 children were deemed "ineligible" due to multiple concerns over their guardians, including 11 adults with serious criminal history like charges or convictions for murder, child cruelty, smuggling or domestic violence.

Seven adults were determined not to be the child's parent and 12 parents had already been deported.

One child under age five has been detained for more than a year because the parent's location is not known, DHS said.

"The American people gave this administration a mandate to end the lawlessness at the border, and is keeping his promise to do exactly that," HHS Alex Azar, DHS and Jeff Sessions said in a joint statement announcing the reunifications.

"Our agencies' careful vetting procedures helped prevent the reunification of children with an alleged murderer, an adult convicted of child cruelty, and adults determined not to be the parent of the child," they added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, July 12 2018. 22:07 IST