DNA Tests Slow Reuniting, Half of Kids Under 5 Back With Migrant Families

The government is rushing to sort through the youngest of illegal immigrant children who need to be reunited with their families under Judge Dana Sabraw's deadline. But now the government is dealing with some tougher cases after catching some adults who wrongly claimed their illegal immigrant children and some who have prior criminal charges, making it harder to get reunited. 

The federal government has caught at least five adults who were proven to not be the real parents of illegal immigrant children after DNA testing.

Eight more of these illegal immigrant adults had serious criminal records, including murder and kidnapping charges, which makes them unfit to take back their own children. 

On Tuesday, federal officials said they were releasing dozens of families rather than detaining them, after President Trump faced outrage over the separation of families in detainment.   

The government has been checking to make sure each child isn't heading to unsafe conditions and expected to reunite 38 children under age 5 by Tuesday July 10. 

Judge Sabraw told officials to speed the reuniting process up, saying they could cut corners on their usual routine in order to get the kids back with people who claimed to be their parents.

“Our process may not be as quick as some would like but there is no question it is protecting children,” said Chris Meekins, a high-ranking official at the Health and Human Services Department.

By Thursday July 12, 57 of the 103 migrant children under 5-years-old who were separated from their families at the border were reunited. The other 46 children were deemed "ineligible" for return.

22 of those very young children could not be released because their parents have criminal backgrounds or because "the officials had determined the child was not related to the person with whom they had crossed the U.S.-Mexico border."

Nearly 3,000 older children also still remain in government-licensed facilities or in foster homes as the government rushes to get them released to their parents by judge deadlines. 

Photo: Getty Images

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