Immigrants' advocates struggle to confirm U.S. met deadline on families
By Tom Hals (Reuters) - Rights activists said on Friday they were struggling to find immigrant families to confirm the U.S. government had met a court deadline to reunite 'eligible' parents and children who had been separated after illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in recent months
By Tom Hals
(Reuters) - Rights activists said on Friday they were struggling to find immigrant families to confirm the U.S. government had met a court deadline to reunite "eligible" parents and children who had been separated after illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in recent months.
Some children arrived at remote immigration detention centres this week only to spend the night in a car in the parking lot awaiting the parent's eventual release, immigration advocates and lawyers said.
Other children were sent to detention centres to meet their parents but were returned "in tears" to government shelters because of scheduling problems, said Michelle Brané of the Women’s Refugee Commission on call with reporters on Thursday.
The parents and children were separated as part of U.S. President Donald Trump’s "zero tolerance" policy on illegal immigration. By the time Trump ordered a halt to separations in June following weeks of outrage at home and abroad, about 2,500 children had been separated.
The government said in a court filing on Thursday that it had reunited 1,442 children with their parents, meeting a July 26 deadline imposed by a federal judge in San Diego.
"The deadline is not the finish line," said Efrén Olivares of the Texas Civil Rights Project. "The work is only beginning and it will take many months."
He said his group represented 382 families, and only 110 were reunited with their children. Seven were deported without their child and the group was trying to determine the fate of 200 parents who were either released into the United States or deported, Olivares said.
The remaining 65 parents were still detained, without their child, Olivares said.
Not all parents, however, were deemed eligible for reunification, the U.S. government has said.
"As of Friday morning, the administration can confirm that we have reunified all eligible parents in ICE custody with children," the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement.
The government said 711 children remained separated because the parent waived reunification, was no longer in the country, or in some cases could not be found, which the government said excluded them from reunification.
Attorneys will likely address in a court hearing on Friday how to reunite children still separated from parents. More than half of the parents of those children are no longer in the United States, according to the government. Rights groups said they appear to have been deported without their children.
Non-profit groups were providing cash and transportation to help families get on their feet, Texas advocate Olivares said.
"The government has literally left these people to fend for themselves," Olivares said on a call with reporters. "It confirms that when the government started separating families earlier this summer they didn’t have a plan to reunite them."
(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Del.,; Editing by Noeleen Walder and Grant McCool)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.