Trump Administration Asks for Family Reunification Deadline Extension

The Justice Department asked a federal judge on Friday for extensions on the deadlines to reunite the nearly 3,000 children that have been separated from their parents at the border due to the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy, NBC News reports. A court mandated that children under the age of 5 be reunited with their parents by July 10, and that all other children be returned by July 26. DOJ attorneys claimed that those deadlines do “not account for the time required to verify and vet each parent,” NBC News reported. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told reporters on Thursday that they are using DNA testing to verify relationships between parents and children. The New York Times reported that some of the records used to authenticate familial relations have “disappeared” or were “destroyed.” HHS also reportedly asked for volunteers to work the weekend to sift through the records of 12,000 children to find out which ones were forcibly separated from their parents at the border.