Wednesday, June 27, 2018
A San Diego federal judge has ordered immigration officials to reunite children and parents. In addition to barring the now suspended practice of separating children from families, Judge Dana Sabraw ordered that children under five be reunited with their parents within fourteen days and that parents of children of all ages be permitted to speak with them within ten days. Further the court order requires parents subject to deportation to leave with their children.
In what will no doubt be an oft quoted sentence from his opinion, Judge Sabraw said, " The unfortunate reality is that under the present system migrant children are not accounted for with the same efficiency and accuracy as property." The administration's attitude expressed by Judge Sabraw is simultaneously arrogant as well as cavalier. Invoking property rights reminiscent of slave owners, the administration has not bothered to properly document the parental relationship of children in its custody. As Judge Sabraw noted, the Executive Order that terminated the process of separating children from parents made no mention of whether or how to reunite already separated children from the parents who brought them across the border.
"The facts set forth before the court portray reactive governance responses to address chaotic circumstance of the government's own making. They belie measured and ordered governance, which is central to the concept of due process
A status conference in the case is scheduled for July 6th.
Of note, the Plaintiffs in Ms. L; etal v. ICE were certified as a class, thus permitting the nationwide injunction. The injunction was issued on the same day that Justice Thomas opined on the validity of federal courts issuing nationwide injunctions in the case of Trump v. Hawaii. The Supreme Court refused to rule on the issue in Trump v Hawaii but the issue may not be capable of escape as the Ms. L case winds its way to that court.