A federal judge tentatively endorsed a government proposal to reunify hundreds of children with deported parents in their home countries, the Wall Street Journal reports. The approval could get the Trump administration closer to completing the tumultuous process of reuniting families separated under its “zero-tolerance policy” of prosecuting border-crossing adults. It comes after the government proposed in a court filing that it would “transport minors to their respective countries of origins” for deported parents who want to be reunified.
In a hearing Friday, U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego said the proposal was “an appropriate plan” and told the American Civil Liberties Union and Trump administration attorneys to meet and discuss it. “This will not be a perfect process; this is an enormous undertaking involving a situation of the government’s own making,” Sabraw said. “But we will never be able to come up with a process that is perfect or that restores all rights as if this incident never happened. All we can do is the best we can do under the present circumstances.” The administration has so far reunited more than 1,600 children with their parents, but more than 560 children remain in the custody of the U.S. government. About 360 parents have been deported without their children, and the government and the ACLU have been trying to locate them. Most of the parents are from Central America.