Feds won't meet court deadline to reunite immigrant children, parents separated at border

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

The federal government will not meet a court deadline to reunite 100 young immigrant children with their parents by Tuesday.

A federal judge in San Diego had ordered the government to reunite all children younger than 5 who were separated from their families at the border.

Between 30 and 40 immigrant children under the age of 5 were set to be reunited with their parents Tuesday, according to a Trump administration official.

Many of the children are staying in shelters in the Phoenix area.

Dr. Juan Sanchez, the CEO of Southwest Key Programs, which has been taking care of many of the children, released a statement Tuesday.

“Today, Southwest Key is helping reunify separated children with their families. Our staff came in early, made sure every backpack was full and every child got a hug and a goodbye. And, the kids hugged us back. They were excited to be on their way to be with their families. And, we were thrilled for them.”  

[RELATED: Retired teacher says Southwest Key 'doing the very best they can' managing migrant shelters]

[READ MORE: Former worker describes conditions inside shelters for kids of migrants]

White vans were seen coming and going from the Southwest Key complex in Phoenix, as well as the ICE office near downtown Phoenix.

Government officials told a federal judge that they needed more time putting families back together so they can do background checks on parents and ensure the safety of the children.

[RELATED: Arizona lawmakers want to visit centers for migrant kids]

But Phoenix immigration attorney Ray Ybarra Maldonado said that's not acceptable.

He's concerned that the government has lost track of some kids and doesn't know where their parents are.

[RELATED: Trump reverses course, signs order to keep families together]

"It's outrageous that the federal government takes better care of property than they do of whose children belong to what parent," Maldonado said. "It's absolutely ridiculous and that comes from a federal judge saying it."

Maldonado expects to see a number of federal lawsuits filed in the next week or two.

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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