This process can be slowed down if the judge's court order is interpreted to mean ICE must release parents from detention by compliance deadlines and the Justice Department argued that "such release might slow reunification".
It will be done, he vowed.
The latest information we have was provided to CNN by a USA government source: a map showing that the 2,047 separated unaccompanied minors who were in custody of the HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement as of June 25 were scattered across 16 states. But after separating thousands of children absent that finding, the government is now making the opposite argument - that they must clear a high bar, that it claims the court set in its order, by proving the parents are not unsafe or unfit before reunification can happen.
On Friday, in the latest sign of disarray in the administration, officials admitted in court that they may miss a judge's Tuesday deadline to reunite children under 5 with their parents. "To our knowledge, this is a cheek swab and is being done to expedite parental verification and ensuring reunification with verified parents due to child welfare concerns", one official told CNN.
In a two-hour hearing on Friday, a government attorney said that 19 parents of children under the age of five held in custody had left the US.
The executive order that ended family separations did not lay out steps for reuniting families.
The Department of Health and Human Services is "doing DNA testing to confirm parentage quickly and accurately", HHS Secretary Alex Azar told reporters on a conference call. For half of those 38 kids, the parents were already deported; half the parents are no longer in government custody but the government doesn't know how to find them.
She said the government had matched 86 parents to 83 children. Advocates said the practice has traumatized families. Officials are reviewing records of 11,800 children in that office's custody to see if they've been separated from their parents at the border.
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Lillard may not be moved, but it would make sense for the Lakers to throw a fairly aggressive offer at Portland to see if they would consider it.
But DNA testing would, in theory, speed it up dramatically.
'Proper vetting for child safety is essential, ' he said.
About 11,800 minors are now in U.S. custody after crossing over from Mexico, Azar said.
In a series of tweets, Trump demanded lawmakers "pass smart, fast and reasonable Immigration Laws" now, after the House of Representatives last month rejected a broad immigration bill that had his support.
The secretary repeated slammed the court system for its deadlines and called the order 'unprecedented'. Older children must be returned to their parents by July 26 under the court's injunction.
As Reason's Jesse Walker tweeted: "You have to understand that dogs get really upset when they're separated from the most important people in their lives". In those cases, protections are needed to make sure children are not handed over to adults seeking to exploit them. The families were separated after illegally crossing the US-Mexico border and being arrested under the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" immigration policy. "Parents have a choice" when they're removed from the country to leave their children behind, he said.
Logistically, that's "not the easiest task", Azar said. Many children were sent to facilities thousands of miles away from their parents, and some are too young or scared to provide accurate information about their parents or their journey.
"We want to ensure that we can reunite children who have been separated from their families as expeditiously as possible", wrote Representative Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican, and Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat.