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Friday, July 20, 2018

A government lawyer acknowledged Monday that the Trump administration will miss its first court-imposed deadline to reunite about 100 immigrant children under age 5 with their parents. Department of Justice attorney Sarah Fabian said during a court hearing that federal authorities reunited two families and expect to reunite an additional 59 by Tuesday’s deadline. She said the other cases are more complicated, including parents who have been deported or are in prison facing criminal charges, and would require more time to complete reunions. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw, who ordered the administration to reunite families separated as part of President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, said he will hold another hearing Tuesday morning to get an update on the remaining cases. He said he was encouraged to see “real progress” in the complicated reunification process after a busy weekend when officials from multiple federal agencies tried to sync up parents and children who are spread across the country. STORY FROM LENDINGTREE Crush your mortgage interest with a 15 yr fixed “Tomorrow is the deadline. I do recognize that there are some groups of parents who are going to fall into a category where it’s impossible to reunite by tomorrow,” he said. “I am very encouraged by the progress. I’m optimistic.” Lee Gelernt, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney who leads a lawsuit against the federal government, sounded more skeptical. When asked by the judge if he believed the government was in full compliance of the court order, Gelernt said there was much more work to be done. “Let me put it this way: I think the government in the last 48 hours has taken significant steps,” he said. “We just don’t know how much effort the government has made to find released parents. I don’t think there’s been full compliance.” U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw, based in San Diego. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw, based in San Diego. (Photo: U.S. District Court) The difficulty in reuniting the first 100 children shows the challenge that lies ahead as the Trump administration braces for another deadline in two weeks to reunite nearly 3,000 older children – up to age 17 – with their parents. The process is complicated because of all the different situations that emerged over the weekend. The government initially identified 102 children under age 5 who needed to be reunited but removed three children from that list because investigations into their cases revealed that those children came with adults who were not their parents, Fabian said. Twelve parents were found to be in federal and state custody on criminal charges, making a reunification impossible since the government can’t transfer minors to state and local prisons to protect the well-being of the child. Nine parents were deported, and the government established contact with only four of them, Fabian said. Four children had been scheduled to be released from government custody to relatives who weren’t their parents, leading the government to question whether to allow that process to be completed or to redirect the child back to a parent. Gelernt said he understood many of the hurdles but urged the judge to force the government to scrap its time-consuming investigation into every single case and start a 48-hour clock to reunify families that remain separated by Tuesday. Sabraw said he would decide that during Tuesday’s hearing. Fabian said one of the silver linings of the busy weekend is that her office worked closely with its challengers at the ACLU to share information on each child’s case, to ensure that representatives from immigration advocacy groups and volunteer organizations could be present during each reunification. Gelernt said they’re doing that to help the parents, who are often released from custody with no money and nowhere to go. Fabian said that coordination has led to a more formalized process between government agencies and with the immigrants’ lawyers that should make reunifications go more smoothly in the coming weeks. “I think this process over the weekend helped us see what information, and in what form, is the most useful to share,” she said. “I’d like to make that as efficient a process as possible.” -

Monday, July 9, 2018

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Monday, July 9, 2018

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Saturday, May 19, 2018

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Saturday, May 19, 2018

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Saturday, May 19, 2018

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Friday, December 15, 2017

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

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Friday, April 14, 2017

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Report: British court forces Italian woman to undergo C-section

Press Association via AP Images

 The woman allegedly suffered a ‘mental breakdown,’ and a judge has ruled that the baby be placed for adoption

15-month-old girl who was forcibly delivered by cesarean section last year under a British court order is now the subject of an international legal dispute, The Telegraphnewspaper reported Sunday.

The court said it had authorized the C-section because it was acting in the best interests of the mother, an Italian citizen who had allegedly suffered a “mental breakdown” while in the United Kingdom for a two-week job training course, according to the newspaper report. 

The baby remains in the custody of Essex social services, which is refusing to return the child to the mother even though she claims to have made a full recovery, the news report said. It said a judge has ruled that the child should be placed for adoption because of the risk of the woman having a relapse.

An Essex county council spokesman told the newspaper that the local authorities would not comment on ongoing cases involving vulnerable people and children, the report said.

The woman’s ex-husband, an American, became involved in the case and requested that the baby be sent to Los Angeles to live with the man’s sister, the newspaper said. 

It said that under British law, children are to be adopted by members of their wider family wherever possible. However, the report said social services ruled in March that the American woman had no “blood” tie to the baby.

The mother is now fighting to have the court’s ruling overturned before the adoption process is completed, the newspaper report said.

It said that attorneys for the mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, described the case as “unprecedented” and said officials should have consulted her family beforehand, and should have also involved the Italian social services.

“I have never heard of anything like this in all my 40 years in the job,” Brendan Fleming, the woman’s British lawyer, told The Telegraph. “I can understand if someone is very ill that they may not be able to consent to a medical procedure, but a forced cesarean is unprecedented.”

The case has raised questions about the scope of social workers’ powers in the U.K. 

Member of Parliament John Hemming, who has been campaigning for reform and greater transparency in court proceedings involving family matters, said Sunday he would raise the issue in Parliament this week. “I have seen a number of cases of abuses of people’s rights in the family courts, but this has to be one of the more extreme,” he told the newspaper.

“It involves the Court of Protection authorizing a cesarean section without the person concerned being made aware of what was proposed. I worry about the way these decisions about a person’s mental capacity are being taken without any apparent concern as to the effect on the individual being affected,” he was quoted as saying.

Hemming has helped foreign parents win back their children from Britain’s child protection system on the grounds that British courts have no jurisdiction over them, the newspaper said. 

Kept in the dark

The report said the woman, who said she was kept in the dark about the initial proceedings, had suffered from a panic attack when she could not find her two daughters’ passports at an airline hotel. She reportedly called the police, who arrived while the woman was on the phone with her mother.  The police requested to speak to the woman’s mother, who told the officers that her daughter suffered from a bipolar condition, the news report said.

It said the police then informed the mother that they were going to take her to the hospital to “make sure that the baby was OK.” Instead, they took her to a psychiatric hospital, where she was restrained under Britain’s Mental Health Act, according to The Telegraph. 

Meanwhile, social workers reportedly sought a court order that would allow them to remove the child from the woman’s womb.

The report said that the woman was eventually strapped down, forcibly sedated and subjected to a cesarean section while unconscious. 

It said the mother returned from Italy to the U.K. in February to request the return of her daughter, but the judge ruled that the child should be placed for adoption because of the risk that the mother may suffer from a relapse, her lawyers said according to the report.

The High Court in Rome expressed outrage over the matter and questioned why U.K. proceedings had been applied to the child of an Italian citizen “habitually resident” in Italy, The Telegraph said. 

Al Jazeera

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