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Trump Administration Wants To Reunite Families, But It Comes With Trade-Offs

SHUTTERSTOCK/Karl Sonnenberg

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Neetu Chandak Education and Politics Reporter

The Trump administration is trying to reunite illegal immigrant families and are seeking permission to provide options to detainees, but the upcoming plan comes with trade-offs.

The administration is looking into providing choices to the remaining detainees in a rush to meet San Diego Judge Dana M. Sabraw’s July 26 deadline to reunite over 2,000 detained children with their parents while also upholding immigration laws.

The administration is seeking permission from Sabraw to provide illegal immigrant parents options to either remain with their children in the detention facilities or to release the children while the parents are detained, according to a Wednesday report from The Texas Tribune.

Both options, however, require parents to compromise on certain rights. (RELATED: The Trump Administration Is Cracking Down On Immigration Loopholes)

Parents who choose to remain with their children must give up their children’s rights to be released after 20 days under the 1997 Flores agreement. Otherwise, those who choose to go through detention facilities without their children would have to give permission for the government to hold custody over the kids.

Reuniting families under the deadline is also putting the administration in a fix to find housing for the hundreds of families that would be released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). There are three ICE detention facilities in the U.S. that hold families: Two in Texas and one in Pennsylvania.

The U.S. Department of Defense is looking at two other places in Texas to possibly house more families, according to The Texas Tribune. If housing is unavailable, then the children would be back under federal custody.

The proposed plan comes after President Trump denounced family separation under the zero-tolerance policy to halt illegal immigration. As of Thursday, the Department of Justice reunited 57 of 103 children under the age of five.

The remaining 46 children were ineligible due to false information and safety concerns.

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