It could take up to two years for the government to identify potentially thousands of additional immigrant families US authorities separated at the southern border, officials said in a court filing.
The government’s proposed plan, detailed for the first time in documents filed late Friday night, outlines a strategy for piecing together exactly who might have been separated by combing through thousands of records using a mix of data analysis and manual review.
The court filing comes a year after a memo from then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions officially created the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, which eventually led to the separation of thousands of immigrant families. While a federal court order forced the reunification of many of those families, an explosive government watchdog report in January revealed there could be thousands more who hadn’t previously been acknowledged by officials.
And a federal judge last month ruled that this group should be included in the class-action lawsuit over family separations.
The judge’s order was a major blow for the Trump administration, which had argued finding these families would be too burdensome a task. And it now presents a major logistical challenge for the government. [Continue reading…]