The government said it's on track to meet Thursday's deadline to reunite the majority of immigrant children who were separated from their parents when they illegally crossed the border, The Washington Post reported.
So far, at least 1,012 parents have been reunited with their children, government attorneys said during a conference call Tuesday with the American Civil Liberties Union and a federal judge.
"This is a remarkable achievement," said U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw of the Southern District of California, who has overseen the class action lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of the separated parents.
Last week, the judge gave immigrant parents a one-week reprieve before the government attempts to deport them. The ACLU had argued that many parents were unaware of their rights.
What are the numbers?
Lawyers representing the government presented the joint status update concerning the reunification process.
There were 2,551 children separated from 1,634 parents at the border, according to court documents.
At the time of the call, 879 parents had been reunited with their children and another 538 have been cleared for reunification.
A total of 463 parents have been deported, but the cases are under review and may not reflect the number sent back without their children, according to The Post.
“Some of this information is unpleasant, but it’s the reality of the case, and the reality of a policy that was put in place that resulted in large numbers of families being separated without forethought as to reunification and keeping track of people,” Sabraw said. “It appears there’s a large number of parents who are unaccounted for or who may have been removed without their child, and that is a deeply troubling reality.”
The deported parents are not included in those ordered for reunification.
Additionally, 217 parents have been released within the United States.
Further updates are expected at Thursday's hearing.