The Trump administration says it would require extraordinary effort to reunite what may be thousands of migrant children who have been separated from their parents and, even if it could, the children would likely be emotionally harmed. Health and Human Services Department officials said in court filings late Friday that removing children from "sponsor" homes to rejoin their parents would endanger their welfare, the AP reports. The officials say they don't have authority to take children away from sponsors and that the effort would be cost-prohibitive.
The government didn't adequately track separated children before a judge in San Diego ruled in June that children in its custody be reunited with their parents. The American Civil Liberties Union wants the order to apply to children who were separated before June. Officials say there may be thousands. (The US may have significantly undercounted the number of children separated from their families at the border.)