SAN DIEGO — An order barring the federal government from deporting recently reunited parents and children who were separated at the border due to the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy on illegal immigration will remain in effect until further notice, a San Diego judge overseeing the case said Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw, considering a request for a temporary restraining order in a case transferred from the District of Columbia, said an order he issued three weeks ago prohibiting the government from removing reunified families from the United States before they’ve had a chance to discuss their immigration status is still in effect for both cases.
The plaintiffs in the case of M.M.M. v. Sessions got assurances from the judge that the order halting deportations applies to both parents and their children who may be seeking asylum hearings.
“We’re asking to maintain the status quo,” an attorney on the case told the judge.
In June, the American Civil Liberties Union won a nationwide injunction in its class-action lawsuit requiring reunification of children separated from their parents at the border.
Last week, Sabraw ordered the federal government to come up with a plan to find parents who have been deported or released back into the United States. He said it was “unacceptable” that the government had located only a few parents out of close to 500 who have been removed from the United States or released into the mainland.
Sabraw ordered the government to put one person in charge of the effort to find parents who were separated from their children.
The ACLU said it needs more information from the government on the whereabouts of parents who have been removed from the United States and sent mainly to Honduras and Guatemala.
A status conference on the San Diego case is set for Friday at 1 p.m.